Variability refers to the spread, or dispersion, of a group of scores. Measures of variability (sometimes called measures of dispersion) provide descriptive information about the dispersion of scores within data. Measures of variability provide summary statistics to understand the variety of scores in relation to the midpoint of the data. Common measures of variability include range, variance, and standard deviation. The present entry discusses the value of measures of variability, [Page 954]specifically in relation to common measures of central tendency. It also provides basic information about three common measures of variability, including how to calculate the measures.
Although researchers often place focus on measures of central tendency, such as mean, median, and mode, measures of central tendency ...
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