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1.6 Describing Numerical Distributions

Shape

  • The shape of a numerical distribution relies on two factors: symmetry and outliers.
  • If you can draw a vertical line through some point in the distribution whereby the distribution to the left of the line looks similar to a mirror image of the distribution to the right of it, it is an approximately symmetrical distribution. If this is not the case, the distribution is asymmetric.

Note: in some cases, you may find situations where the distribution has perfect symmetry. In these situations, you can drop the “approximately” term and refer to it simply as symmetrical.

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