Why Do We Abuse, Misue, and Confuse Standard Deviation

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The English mathematician Francis Galton is credited with inventing the concepts behind standard deviation. Perhaps Galton would paraphrase Newton and state that he saw further by sitting on the shoulders of the giants who preceded him, such as the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. Today, standard deviation is used in a variety of disciplines, and it isn’t surprising that it’s frequently employed as a risk and dispersion statistic, despite its shortcomings.

David D. Spaulding, DPS, CIPM

The English mathematician Francis Galton is credited with inventing the concepts behind standard deviation. Perhaps Galton would paraphrase Newton and state that he saw further by sitting on the shoulders of the giants who preceded him, such as the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. Today, standard deviation is used in a variety of disciplines, and it isn’t surprising that it’s frequently employed as a risk and dispersion statistic, despite its shortcomings.

Why Do We Abuse, Misuse, and Confuse Standard Deviation?

 

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