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The Standard Deviation :: Measuring the Average Distance to the Mean

Things to remember:
  1. The range is the maximum minus the minimum value.
  2. You can't just take the average distance to the mean: negatives and positives cancel each other out.
  3. Converting the negatives to positives and then taking the average is the MAD: mean absolute deviation--not used frequently.
  4. Squaring the distances to the mean then taking the average provides the variance. An important measure used often, just not easy to interpret.
  5. Taking the square root of the variance provides the standard deviation.

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