Degrees Of Freedom

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Degrees Of Freedom'

In statistics, the number of values in a study that are free to vary. For example, if you have to take ten different courses to graduate, and only ten different courses are offered, then you have nine degrees of freedom. Nine semesters you will be able to choose which class to take; the tenth semester, there will only be one class left to take - there is no choice, if you want to graduate.


Degrees of freedom are commonly discussed in relation to chi-square and other forms of hypothesis testing statistics. It is important to calculate the degree(s) of freedom when determining the significance of a chi square statistic and the validity of the null hypothesis.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Degrees Of Freedom'

There are two types of chi square tests: the goodness-of-fit test (does a coin tossed 100 times turn up heads 50 times and tails 50 times?) and the test of independence (is there a relationship between gender and a perfect SAT score?).


Degrees of freedom are used to then determine whether a particular null hypothesis can be rejected based on the number of variables and samples of in the experiment. For example, while a sample size of 50 students might not be large enough to obtain significant information, obtaining the same results from a study of 500 samples can be judged as being valid.




RELATED TERMS
  1. Goodness-Of-Fit

    Used in statistics and statistical modelling to compare an anticipated ...
  2. Nonparametric Statistics

    A statistical method wherein the data is not required to fit ...
  3. Sampling Error

    A statistical error to which an analyst exposes a model simply ...
  4. Statistics

    A type of mathematical analysis involving the use of quantified ...
  5. Null Hypothesis

    A type of hypothesis used in statistics that proposes that no ...
  6. Descriptive Statistics

    A set of brief descriptive coefficients that summarizes a given ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are some of the more common types of regressions investors can use?

    The most common types of regression an investor can use are linear regressions and multiple linear regressions. Regressions ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What types of assets produce negative portfolio variance?

    Assets that have a negative correlation with each other produce negative portfolio variance. Variance is one measure of the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. When is it better to use systematic over simple random sampling?

    Under simple random sampling, a sample of items is chosen randomly from a population, and each item has an equal probability ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some common financial sampling methods?

    There are two areas in finance where sampling is very important: hypothesis testing and auditing. The type of sampling methods ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can I measure portfolio variance?

    Portfolio variance measures the dispersion of returns of a portfolio. It is calculated using the standard deviation of each ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    What Are The Odds Of Scoring A Winning Trade?

    Just because you're on a winning streak doesn't mean you're a skilled trader. Find out why.
  2. Investing Basics

    Regression Basics For Business Analysis

    This tool is easy to use and can provide valuable information on financial analysis and forecasting. Find out how.
  3. Active Trading

    The Linear Regression Of Time and Price

    This investment strategy can help investors be successful by identifying price trends while eliminating human bias.
  4. Economics

    Explaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio

    The liquidity coverage ratio requires banks and other financial institutions to hold enough cash and liquid assets on hand to weather market stress.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    Calculating Valuation

    Valuation is the process of determining what an asset is worth.
  6. Economics

    Will the Selloff in China Hurt the Global Economy?

    Though China is the world’s second largest economy, its volatility in the stock market is unlikely to have an impact on the global or Chinese economy.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Understanding Qualitative Analysis

    Qualitative analysis is a general term describing the non-mathematical scrutiny used by investors and managers to make investment and business decisions.
  8. Economics

    Signs The U.S. Recovery Is Solid

    Many market observers lately have been making some pretty pessimistic evaluations of the U.S. economy, declaring that it’s stagnating and soft.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Explaining the Monte Carlo Simulation

    Monte Carlo simulation is an analysis done by running a number of different variables through a model in order to determine the different outcomes.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    Explaining the Empirical Rule

    The empirical rule provides a quick estimate of the spread of data in a normal statistical distribution.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
  2. Nuncupative Will

    A verbal will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. A nuncupative will ...
  3. OsMA

    An abbreviation for Oscillator - Moving Average. OsMA is used in technical analysis to represent the variance between an ...
  4. Investopedia

    One of the best-known sources of financial information on the internet. Investopedia is a resource for investors, consumers ...
  5. Unfair Claims Practice

    The improper avoidance of a claim by an insurer or an attempt to reduce the size of the claim. By engaging in unfair claims ...
  6. Killer Bees

    An individual or firm that helps a company fend off a takeover attempt. A killer bee uses defensive strategies to keep an ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!