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Measures of Dispersion

Dispersion (also known as Scatter, Spread,


or Variation) measures the extent to which
the items vary from some central value. It
may be noted that the measures of
dispersion measure only the degree ( i.e.
The amount of variation) but not the
direction of variation.
The measures of dispersion are also called
averages of the second order because these
measures give an average of the differences
of various items from an average.

Mean Deviation
Mean Deviation is the Arithmetic mean of
the absolute deviations (ie. Deviations
treated as positive regardless of their
actual signs) of all items of the
distribution from a measure of central
tendency, which could be mean, median
or sometimes even mode. It is also
known as first moment of dispersion.
Mean deviation about the median is the
least.