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Math Help - Can you explain degrees of freedom of error

  1. #1
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    Can you explain degrees of freedom of error

    This is a concept I still don't understand.

    When we say degree of freedom is n-1, as we deal with a problem of a sample mean, such as mean=(x1+x2+x3........+xn)/n. Just because the constrain of x lies in a one demensional space.

    But why do we have to use n, and then minor the 1.
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  2. #2
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    god, I'm good on questioning.
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  3. #3
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    I'm no statistical theory guru, but I know degrees of freedom is not an easy concept. In Mood, Graybill, and Boes, 3rd ed, p244, in a discussion of the chi square distribution; the sum of squared deviations from the mean for a normal random variable has df = n-1 because the sample mean = 0, which allows one to determine the nth deviation from the other n-1 so only the n-1 deviations are free to vary. I know, clear as mud.
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