Statistical dispersion

In statistics, dispersion (also called variability, scatter, or spread) is the extent to which a distribution is stretched or squeezed.[1] Common examples of measures of statistical dispersion are the variance, standard deviation, and interquartile range. For instance, when the variance of data in a set is large, the data is widely scattered. On the other hand, when the variance is small, the data in the set is clustered.

Example of samples from two populations with the same mean but different dispersion. The blue population is much more dispersed than the red population.

Dispersion is contrasted with location or central tendency, and together they are the most used properties of distributions.


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