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Standard Deviation Please help

  1. Jun 17, 2006 #1
    Ok I've got a maths exam on monday and one of the things that is going to be inside it is standard deviation.
    Problem is I don't get it one bit. I tried googling it but I didn't understand any of it.

    Could someone explain to me how I would find the estimated standard deviation for the following data please?

    Profits (1000s)--------Frequency

    The formula is
    Square root off (Total (x-mean of x) squared divided by n but I dont get what x and n are.

    The estimated mean is 31350
    Please help
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2006 #2


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    Homework Helper

    In your sample you have 100 measurements of profit. Each of those 100 measurements represents a value of x which is just a name you are giving to each quantity. Since your measurements are allocated to 5 bins (-10 to 10, 0 to 10 and so on), you do not know the precise value of each of the 100 measurements. One way to handle that would be to assume each measurement is equal to the central value of each bin. For example, you would take two of the measurements to have the value 0 (the middle of the interval -10 to 10).

    Use that information to find the mean of all 100 measurements and then use your formula to find the standard deviation.

    Incidentally, I think you mistyped your first interval. I am guessing that the interval from -10 to 10 should really be from -10 to 0.
  4. Jun 17, 2006 #3
    Ok you're right about the typo.

    So x for the first one would be -5?
    So what's N?
  5. Jun 17, 2006 #4


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    Yes, use the middle of each interval. Don't forget to multiply that value by the frequency. "Mean of x" is the sum of those: sum of each interval's center value times its freaquency, divided by 100. And x, of course, is the center value.
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