AP Statistics Curriculum 2007 EDA Shape

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General Advance-Placement (AP) Statistics Curriculum - Measures of Shape

Definitions

  • A distribution is unimodal if it has one mode. Unimodal distributions include:
    • Bell shaped distributions (symmetric, Normal)
    • Skewed right or skewed left
    • We can use the mean and median to help interpret the shape of a distribution. For an unimodal distribution we have these properties:
      • If mean = median, then the distribution is symmetric
      • If mean > median, then the distribution is right skewed
      • If mean < median, then the distribution is left skewed
      • Note that depending on the protocol for computing the median, these rules may be violated for certain distributions. Some examples of such violations are included in this JSE paper.
SOCR EBook Dinov EDA 012708 Fig9.jpg

Other Measures of Shape

This section also provides moment-based characterization of distribution shape.

Examples

What seems like a logical choice for the shape of the hot dog calorie data? Try looking at the histogram of the calories for the Hot-dogs dataset.

SOCR EBook Dinov EDA 012708 Fig4.jpg

Activities

Collect data, draw the sample histogram or dot-plot and classify the shape of the distribution accordingly. Also, if unimodal, classify symmetry (symmetric, skewed right or skewed left).

  • Data collected on height of randomly sampled college students.
  • Data collected on height of randomly sampled female college students.
  • The salaries of all persons employed by a large university.
  • The amount of time spent by students on a difficult exam.
  • The grade distribution on a difficult exam.

Hands-on activities

Problems




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