Degrees Of Freedom

Degrees of Freedom is a number used in statistical analysis to indicate how many ways the obtained results could have been found through random sampling. Let’s say you compare two groups, and one group has a mean of 3 while the other has a mean of 4. Each of your groups had 10 participants with scores ranging from 1 to 5. The degrees of freedom show the number of different combinations of scores that could have occurred in your groups to produce the same means found in your results.

For example, your first group could have had scores of 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, and 5 to achieve a mean of 3. But scores of 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, and 4 would also result in the same group mean. When calculating degrees of freedom you must take into account the total number of participants and the number of groups.

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