Q: What does the sample standard deviation best estimate?

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There is 1) standard deviation, 2) mean deviation and 3) mean absolute deviation. The standard deviation is calculated most of the time. If our objective is to estimate the variance of the overall population from a representative random sample, then it has been shown theoretically that the standard deviation is the best estimate (most efficient). The mean deviation is calculated by first calculating the mean of the data and then calculating the deviation (value - mean) for each value. If we then sum these deviations, we calculate the mean deviation which will always be zero. So this statistic has little value. The individual deviations may however be of interest. See related link. To obtain the means absolute deviation (MAD), we sum the absolute value of the individual deviations. We will obtain a value that is similar to the standard deviation, a measure of dispersal of the data values. The MAD may be transformed to a standard deviation, if the distribution is known. The MAD has been shown to be less efficient in estimating the standard deviation, but a more robust estimator (not as influenced by erroneous data) as the standard deviation. See related link. Most of the time we use the standard deviation to provide the best estimate of the variance of the population.

he population mean

My best estimate is around 1.5 standard deviations away from the norm.

The answer will depend on what the comparison is to be made with and also on how "better" is being judged. The arithmetic average is the best linear unbiased estimate as well as the maximum likelihood estimate of the centre. The best estimate for the spread depends on whether the data comprise the population or a sample from the population.

Total frequency describes how many times an event occurs. For example, between 1 and 2 pm on a certain date, the number of cars passing through a specific intersection was 389. On the other hand, the mean is an average measures describing the central tendency of an event. For example, The average number of cars passing through a specific intersection between 1 and 2 pm is 376. That means sometimes it is more than 376, sometimes it is less, but 376 is the mean or average figure. In statistical research the mean is widely used, usually accompanied by the standard deviation, which shows the amount of variation from the mean. A small standard deviation means that the mean is a fairly reliable estimate of the frequency of an event. A large standard deviation means that there can be a significant difference between the mean of an event and any one occurrence of it.

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There is 1) standard deviation, 2) mean deviation and 3) mean absolute deviation. The standard deviation is calculated most of the time. If our objective is to estimate the variance of the overall population from a representative random sample, then it has been shown theoretically that the standard deviation is the best estimate (most efficient). The mean deviation is calculated by first calculating the mean of the data and then calculating the deviation (value - mean) for each value. If we then sum these deviations, we calculate the mean deviation which will always be zero. So this statistic has little value. The individual deviations may however be of interest. See related link. To obtain the means absolute deviation (MAD), we sum the absolute value of the individual deviations. We will obtain a value that is similar to the standard deviation, a measure of dispersal of the data values. The MAD may be transformed to a standard deviation, if the distribution is known. The MAD has been shown to be less efficient in estimating the standard deviation, but a more robust estimator (not as influenced by erroneous data) as the standard deviation. See related link. Most of the time we use the standard deviation to provide the best estimate of the variance of the population.

No. A small standard deviation with a large mean will yield points further from the mean than a large standard deviation of a small mean. Standard deviation is best thought of as spread or dispersion.

A "Good" estimator is the one which provides an estimate with the following qualities:Unbiasedness: An estimate is said to be an unbiased estimate of a given parameter when the expected value of that estimator can be shown to be equal to the parameter being estimated. For example, the mean of a sample is an unbiased estimate of the mean of the population from which the sample was drawn. Unbiasedness is a good quality for an estimate, since, in such a case, using weighted average of several estimates provides a better estimate than each one of those estimates. Therefore, unbiasedness allows us to upgrade our estimates. For example, if your estimates of the population mean µ are say, 10, and 11.2 from two independent samples of sizes 20, and 30 respectively, then a better estimate of the population mean µ based on both samples is [20 (10) + 30 (11.2)] (20 + 30) = 10.75.Consistency: The standard deviation of an estimate is called the standard error of that estimate. The larger the standard error the more error in your estimate. The standard deviation of an estimate is a commonly used index of the error entailed in estimating a population parameter based on the information in a random sample of size n from the entire population.An estimator is said to be "consistent" if increasing the sample size produces an estimate with smaller standard error. Therefore, your estimate is "consistent" with the sample size. That is, spending more money to obtain a larger sample produces a better estimate.Efficiency: An efficient estimate is one which has the smallest standard error among all unbiased estimators.The "best" estimator is the one which is the closest to the population parameter being estimated.

A "Good" estimator is the one which provides an estimate with the following qualities:Unbiasedness: An estimate is said to be an unbiased estimate of a given parameter when the expected value of that estimator can be shown to be equal to the parameter being estimated. For example, the mean of a sample is an unbiased estimate of the mean of the population from which the sample was drawn. Unbiasedness is a good quality for an estimate, since, in such a case, using weighted average of several estimates provides a better estimate than each one of those estimates. Therefore, unbiasedness allows us to upgrade our estimates. For example, if your estimates of the population mean µ are say, 10, and 11.2 from two independent samples of sizes 20, and 30 respectively, then a better estimate of the population mean µ based on both samples is [20 (10) + 30 (11.2)] (20 + 30) = 10.75.Consistency: The standard deviation of an estimate is called the standard error of that estimate. The larger the standard error the more error in your estimate. The standard deviation of an estimate is a commonly used index of the error entailed in estimating a population parameter based on the information in a random sample of size n from the entire population.An estimator is said to be "consistent" if increasing the sample size produces an estimate with smaller standard error. Therefore, your estimate is "consistent" with the sample size. That is, spending more money to obtain a larger sample produces a better estimate.Efficiency: An efficient estimate is one which has the smallest standard error among all unbiased estimators.The "best" estimator is the one which is the closest to the population parameter being estimated.

standard deviation is best measure of dispersion because all the data distributions are nearer to the normal distribution.

A "Good" estimator is the one which provides an estimate with the following qualities:Unbiasedness: An estimate is said to be an unbiased estimate of a given parameter when the expected value of that estimator can be shown to be equal to the parameter being estimated. For example, the mean of a sample is an unbiased estimate of the mean of the population from which the sample was drawn. Unbiasedness is a good quality for an estimate, since, in such a case, using weighted average of several estimates provides a better estimate than each one of those estimates. Therefore, unbiasedness allows us to upgrade our estimates. For example, if your estimates of the population mean µ are say, 10, and 11.2 from two independent samples of sizes 20, and 30 respectively, then a better estimate of the population mean µ based on both samples is [20 (10) + 30 (11.2)] (20 + 30) = 10.75.Consistency: The standard deviation of an estimate is called the standard error of that estimate. The larger the standard error the more error in your estimate. The standard deviation of an estimate is a commonly used index of the error entailed in estimating a population parameter based on the information in a random sample of size n from the entire population.An estimator is said to be "consistent" if increasing the sample size produces an estimate with smaller standard error. Therefore, your estimate is "consistent" with the sample size. That is, spending more money to obtain a larger sample produces a better estimate.Efficiency: An efficient estimate is one which has the smallest standard error among all unbiased estimators.The "best" estimator is the one which is the closest to the population parameter being estimated.

he population mean

Short answer, complex. I presume you're in a basic stats class so your dealing with something like a normal distribution however (or something else very standard). You can think of it this way... A confidence interval re-scales margin of likely error into a range. This allows you to say something along the lines, "I can say with 95% confidence that the mean/variance/whatever lies within whatever and whatever" because you're taking into account the likely error in your prediction (as long as the distribution is what you think it is and all stats are what you think they are). This is because, if you know all of the things I listed with absolute certainty, you are able to accurately predict how erroneous your prediction will be. It's because central limit theory allow you to assume statistically relevance of the sample, even given an infinite population of data. The main idea of a confidence interval is to create and interval which is likely to include a population parameter within that interval. Sample data is the source of the confidence interval. You will use your best point estimate which may be the sample mean or the sample proportion, depending on what the problems asks for. Then, you add or subtract the margin of error to get the actual interval. To compute the margin of error, you will always use or calculate a standard deviation. An example is the confidence interval for the mean. The best point estimate for the population mean is the sample mean according to the central limit theorem. So you add and subtract the margin of error from that. Now the margin of error in the case of confidence intervals for the mean is za/2 x Sigma/ Square root of n where a is 1- confidence level. For example, confidence level is 95%, a=1-.95=.05 and a/2 is .025. So we use the z score the corresponds to .025 in each tail of the standard normal distribution. This will be. z=1.96. So if Sigma is the population standard deviation, than Sigma/square root of n is called the standard error of the mean. It is the standard deviation of the sampling distribution of all the means for every possible sample of size n take from your population ( Central limit theorem again). So our confidence interval is the sample mean + or - 1.96 ( Population Standard deviation/ square root of sample size. If we don't know the population standard deviation, we use the sample one but then we must use a t distribution instead of a z one. So we replace the z score with an appropriate t score. In the case of confidence interval for a proportion, we compute and use the standard deviation of the distribution of all the proportions. Once again, the central limit theorem tells us to do this. I will post a link for that theorem. It is the key to really understanding what is going on here!

Standard deviation; correlation coefficient

The best estimator of the population mean is the sample mean. It is unbiased and efficient, making it a reliable estimator when looking to estimate the population mean from a sample.

160

The mean and standard deviation. If the data really are normally distributed, all other statistics are redundant.