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Probability and Statistics

Probability and Statistics

At a Glance - Univariate v. Bivariate Data

Before we start analyzing, we need to make one more distinction between different types of data. Then our data can take a seat on the couch and we'll start getting to the root of its daddy issues.

Single-variable or univariate data refers to data where we're only observing one aspect of something at a time. With single-variable data, we can put all our observations into a list of numbers.

Sample Problem

We take a group of people, measure their heights, and get this list of heights:

5'2'', 5'4'', 6'1'', 5'9'', 5'3''.

This is univariate data, since we're only observing one aspect (the height) of each person.

With two-variable, or bivariate data, we observe two aspects. We can put our observations into a table. The columns-and-rows kind, not the upending-and-throwing-across-the-room-in-a-rage kind.

Sample Problem

We take a group of people, measure their heights and weights, and get the following information:

This is bivariate data, since we have observations about two aspects (the height and weight) of each person.

Exercise 1

Determine whether the following statement refers to univariate (single-variable) or bivariate (two-variable) data:

Jen measured the height and number of leaves of each plant in her laboratory. 


Exercise 2

Determine whether the following statement refers to univariate (single-variable) or bivariate (two-variable) data:

Linda recorded the weight of each of her cats. 


Exercise 3

Determine whether the following statement refers to univariate (single-variable) or bivariate (two-variable) data:

Roberto observed the color and model of each car in the parking lot.


Exercise 4

Determine whether the following statement refers to univariate (single-variable) or bivariate (two-variable) data:

Luigi found the shoe size of each of his customers. 


Exercise 5

Determine whether the following statement refers to univariate (single-variable) or bivariate (two-variable) data:

Kenny wrote down the length of each song. 


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