Wikis > Glossary > Dispersion

The dispersion of a set of continuous data refers to its spread of values. The dispersion can be roughly stated as the difference between the highest and lowest values, which would be the range of the continuous data. A large dispersion may lead to the initial worry that if the results vary so widely, then it would be difficult to draw any general conclusions about the results. A large dispersion is acceptable if the standard deviation of the data is relatively low, which would indicate a general consistency among the data, facilitating a reasonable conclusion to be made (Windsor 2004).

Kevin Sherwin