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Standard Error of Estimate

Edited by: Published: 2010
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Standard error is the estimated standard deviation of an estimate. It measures the uncertainty associated with the estimate. Compared with the standard deviations of the underlying distribution, which are usually unknown, standard errors can be calculated from observed data.

First, this entry will explain how estimates are obtained. Then, the entry discusses how the standard errors of estimates are derived, with an emphasis on the differences between standard errors and standard deviations. Two examples are used to illustrate the calculation of standard errors of a parameter estimate and standard errors of a future outcome estimate, respectively. Finally, the relationship between standard errors and confidence intervals is discussed.


One main purpose of research designs is to make inferences about a population. Many population characteristics are described by numerical ...

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