Variability: One Statistician’s View
Department of Statistics, UCLA
GILLIAN A. LANCASTER
University of Liverpool
Although variability is of fundamental concern and interest to statisticians, often this does not get communicated to students who are taught instead to view variability as a nuisance parameter. A brief survey of a few case studies, as well as a recounting of some history, shows that variability is worthy of study in its own right, and examination of variability leads to insights that might have been missed had we focused all of our attention on the “trend” of the data. As one of the key components of statistical thinking, variability deserves more prominence in the classroom.
Keywords: Variability; Education; Statistical thinking
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