# What do you mean by variance in psychology?

Variance measures how far a set of numbers is spread out. A variance of zero indicates that all the values are identical. Variance is always non-negative, a small variance indicates that the data points tend to be very close to the mean (expected value) and hence to each other, while a high variance indicates that the data points are very spread out around the mean and from each other.

The variance is one of several descriptors of a probability distribution, In particular, the variance is one of the moments of a distribution. In that context, it forms part of a systematic approach to distinguishing between probability distributions. While other such approaches have been developed, those based on moments are advantageous in terms of mathematical and computational simplicity.

The variance is a parameter that describes, in part, either the actual probability distribution of an observed population of numbers, or the theoretical probability distribution of a not-fully-observed population from which a sample of numbers has been drawn. In the latter case, a sample of data from such a distribution can be used to construct an estimate of the variance of the underlying distribution in the simplest cases this estimate can be the sample variance. • Total (0)
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