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Interpreting Standard Deviation
A small standard deviation means that the values in a statistical data set are close to
the mean of the data set, on average.
A large standard deviation means that the values in the data set are farther away
from the mean, on average.
The figure on the top has a
larger SD than the figure
The lower the SD, the more
reliable the data.
Interpreting Standard Error
If SE bars overlap (apples and oranges),
then there is a greater than 5%
probability that results are due to change
- therefore data is not significant, i.e. ​we
can’t be certain that apples cost less than
If SE bars do not overlap (plums and
oranges), there is a less than 5%
probability that the results are due to
chance - therefore data is significant.
We can say for certain that plums cost
less than oranges.