If 2 distributions of data have the same mean value but standard deviation of sample 1 is twice the value of sample 2, explain what the difference in standard deviation value would indicate about the two distributions.

Totally stuck with this one.

  • $\begingroup$ Is this homework? if so, it should have the homework tag. And welcome to the site! $\endgroup$
    – Peter Flom
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ It's a task within a research module. I'm new to this site! $\endgroup$
    – Chloe
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 11:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Think about this as a picture. 2 distributions have the same mean, which is the same as saying they are both centered at the same point on the x-axis. The SD is a measure of how far from the mean, or how spread out the data tends to be. So what would a SD 2X as big as another SD (with same means) say about its distribution? $\endgroup$
    – learner
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ Would it say that there is a larger variation of data and that the data is more widely distributed in sample 1 than sample 2? $\endgroup$
    – Chloe
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, Sample 1 has greater variation than Sample 2. $\endgroup$
    – learner
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 12:18

1 Answer 1


Not knowing the rest of the questions within your research module, I can point you to the following references for further study:

A general description of mean and standard deviation, with an example and useful equations,

A slightly more technical discussion of the above,

A Khan Academy video on the topic.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.