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Posts: 200

Age: 23
From: Canada

  12.02.2013 at 03:58
I don't know if some of you remember what "Standard Deviation" is from math class,
but let me break it down in lame-enss Terms:

I come on to MS, and am thinking about checking out an album from a band. I see that the average rating for a particular album is 6.0
I'm thinking "OK, this might not be worth checking out". But what I don't know is that this albums is one of those "Hate it or Love It" types of albums, where half of the fans rate it 9+, and some fans rate it 3-.
A simple mathematical formula can determine how far out the difference in opinions are.
I have seen this applied to many other websites where a ratings system is in place.

For example, if an album has an average rating of 6.0, and the standard deviation is 2.8, then that means approx 68% (based on the bell curve) of voters had a difference in opinion from the average rating of about 2.8. Which is HUGE.

So... It would not be too hard to program in to the MS system I think,
and it would be great to see how far off all the opinions of other MSers are from the average.

If you still don't understand, here is the wiki page's definition:
In statistics and probability theory, standard deviation (represented by the symbol sigma, σ) shows how much variation or "dispersion" exists from the average (mean, or expected value). A low standard deviation indicates that the data points tend to be very close to the mean; high standard deviation indicates that the data points are spread out over a large range of values.


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A staff guy...

Posts: 6058

Age: 31
From: USA

  12.02.2013 at 04:28
Whereas I do agree that user ratings are not the best way to determine if you should check out an album or not you can click on the votes of the album you are thinking of checking and see the breakdown of how many people rated the album at all 10 numbers just like what Array/Tridentist linked to for the Death Magnetic album. Every album has that option if you click on the average ratings number.
~Zep, Database and Forum Moderation~

Desert Mouse

Posts: 925

Age: 25
From: USA

  13.05.2014 at 03:34
Makes perfect sense to me. I say we do it. I know we can already look at a ton of other stats, but standard deviation seems like a better way to get a quick at-a-glance look at how opinion differs from the average rating.
"It is not your sin—it is your self-satisfaction that crieth unto heaven; your very sparingness in sin crieth unto heaven!

Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the frenzy with which ye should be inoculated?"

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