# [Rd] variance of a scalar (PR#546)

**Telford Tendys
**
telford@progsoc.uts.edu.au

*Mon, 22 May 2000 13:30:12 +1000*

>* > I thought that might be the reason. There is no mention of using n-1
*>* > rather than n in the denominator on the help page. Perhaps that might be
*>* > added?
*>*
*>* Um. What professional statistics package uses n, then? Are you
*>* suggesting that there is serious room for doubt?
*
I remember that my Casio calculator (in statistics mode) had some way
of setting the denominator to be n-1 or n so obviously someone at Casio
decided to cover both options. I was always taught to use n-1 but
I've been too lazy to work through the derivations and figure out why
one is better than the other.
I agree that a single sample cannot tell you anything about the variance
which is a good enough reason to convince me to keep using n-1.
- Tel
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