Given a data set. how do you know whether to calculate sigma or s?

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Answer

General guidance

Concepts and reason
The problem deals with the concepts of identifying the standard deviation.

Fundamentals

The population standard deviationis calculated if the data set represents a population or the sample drawn from a population. The sample standard deviation s is calculated if the data set represents a sample.

Step-by-step

Step 1 of 2

The sample standard deviation is usually denoted by s. The population standard deviation is usually denoted by.

The value of the sample standard deviation and the value of the population standard deviation are not same for the same data set.

Step 2 of 2

The population standard deviationis calculated if the data set represents a population or the sample drawn from a population. The sample standard deviation is calculated if the given data set represents a sample,

Therefore, for a given data set, one would have to determine if it represented the population or if it was a sample taken from the population. If the data are a population, then sigma is calculated. If the data are a sample, then s is calculated.


The symbol stands for population standard deviation. If the data set represents a population. The symbol s stands for population standard deviation. If the data set represents a sample.

Answer

Therefore, for a given data set, one would have to determine if it represented the population or if it was a sample taken from the population. If the data are a population, then sigma is calculated. If the data are a sample, then s is calculated.

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