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Measure of Dispersion

The various of central tendency or averages discussed in the previous chapter
give us only are single figure that represents entire set of data. But the average alone
cannot describe. The set of observation fully. It does not reveal. The degree of spread
out or extent of variability of individuals observations in a feries. Measures of
dispersion help us to study variability of the items i.e., the extent to which vary from
one another and from the central value. There can be Number of series whose
Average may be the same but still there can be wide disparities in the formation of
the series. In such a case, it becomes necessary to study the variability or dispersion
of the observations.

Meaning of dispersion :-

Dispersion is the variation of the various items of a series from their central
value or the difference between any two extremes values of a series.

According to A.L. Bowley Dispersion is the measure of variation of the items.

Discussion :-

According to Spiegel, “The degree to which numerical data spread about an

average value is called variation or dispersion of the data. It speaks of the reliability
of an average value of a series”.

According to Connor “dispersion is a reassure of the extent to which the

individuals items vary.”

Basis of Statistical Quality Control :-

The measures of dispersion is the basis of statistical quality control. The extent
of the dispersion gives indication to the management as to whether the variation in
the quality of the product is due to random factors or there is some defect in the
manufacturing process.

Different Measure of dispersion/Method of Measuring dispersion :-

Positional Measures of dispersion :-

(1) Range
(2) Inter quartile Range and Quartile deviation.
Mathematical Measures of dispersion :-
(1) Mean deviation
(2) Standard deviation
(3) Co-efficient of variation

Mean deviation or Average deviation :-

Mean deviation may be defined as the average of the deviations of the items
taken ignoring plus (+) and minus (-) sign.

That is |DI = |X - X |
|X - M|
|X - Z|
It is absolute measure of mean deviation. Its relative measure is called co-
efficient. This co-efficient of M.D.
Calculation of Mean deviation from Median
X F C.F M.V. (M) |m - M| F |m - M|
95 - 19.6 3 3 14.5 20 60
19.5 - 29.5 4 7 24.5 10 40
29.5 - 39.5 6 13 34.6 0 0
39.5 - 49.5 5 18 44.5 10 50
49.5 - 59.5 2 20 54.5 20 40
______ ______
N = 20 ∑ f|dm| = 190
Short cut method for mean deviation :-
If value of the average comes out to be in fractions, the calculation of M.D.
∑ f|d|
By would becomes quite tendious. In such a case, the following formula is used.

M.D = ( εƒ x)A - (εƒ x)B - [(εƒ) - (εƒ)B] X

Where, X or M is the average about which M.D. is to be calculated. In this formula,
suffixes and B denote the sums corresponding to the values of x > x or M and x < x
or M respectively.

This formula can also be used for an individuals series, by taking ‘ƒ’ equal to 1
for each x, in the series. In this case, the formula reduces to

M.D = ( ε𝑥) - (ε𝑥)B - [(N)A - (N)B] X]

Where, (N)A and (N)B are the number of items whose values are greater than x or M
and less than x or M respectively.

Note: If short cut method is to be used to find M.D. (X), then it is advisable to use
direct method to find X, because we would be needing (εƒx)A & (εƒx)B in the
calculation of M.D. (X) now, we shall take some examples to illustrate this method.