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Monday, September 04, 2006

Statistics in Life 2

Entry Two
I got slammed. Not physically…but that may have been less painful. As I opened my mail I first thought the phone company had sent the wrong bill but it had my name on it…right next to a sum of nearly $400.00 over the typical amount. After a few increasingly frantic phone calls I was assured this was a common practice that was being investigated across Florida, but I would be responsible for the bill unless I could get the company to remedy the problem. After several more calls to phone numbers that represented phone numbers that represented a company nobody in America has ever heard of, I found they were still billing me and I would owe several hundreds of dollars more for the next several months. So, what does all this have to do with statistics? To begin with, my budget operates within one (very small) standard deviation from the mean…or less. Let's just say it is grouped closely around the mean while I'm in college. The extra expense represents an extreme score that is skewing my normal distribution in the most unfriendly manner.
That is my statistics lesson applied for today. It helped me understand the nature of measures of central tendency, standard deviation, and skewed distributions.

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