Are standard deviations relative to the data they are from?


#1

Question

In the context of this exercise, are standard deviations relative to the data they are from?

Answer

Yes, this is because a standard deviation depends on the dataset values.

If you have a set of large numbers and a set of small number, both with a similar distribution shape, the standard deviation of the larger numbered dataset is most likely going to have a larger standard deviation because the values themselves are larger.

In this exercise, our data for pumpkin is roughly 10 times larger than the values in acorn_squash, with the values somewhat similarly spread out. As a result, the standard deviation will most likely be bigger for the larger numbered dataset.

If you wanted to make the comparison somewhat closer, you might consider normalizing or scaling the datasets to be around the same scale when comparing the standard deviations.