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Degrees of Freedom

The number of Degrees of Freedom is the number of independent data values that are used in estimating the value of a population parameter.

The number of degrees of freedom in the standard deviation formula is n-1: If 'n' were used, instead of 'n-1', the value of 's' would be biased; the standard deviation calculated from small samples would underestimate the population standard deviation.

The number of degrees of freedom is 'n-1' because only 'n-1' of the data values 'xi' are independent; if any 'n-1' are known then the other can be calculated (using x-bar). Analytical and descriptive statistics are covered in the MiC Quality online course Primer in Statistics. Try out our courses by taking the first module of the Primer in Statistics free of charge. [SIX SIGMA GLOSSARY ALPHABETICAL INDEX] [SIX SIGMA GLOSSARY INDEX OF TOPICS] [Top]

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