Most polarizing albums 
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Smurph
Forum Senior Member Joined: January 11 2012 Location: Columbus&NYC Status: Offline Points: 2538 
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Posted: September 05 2013 at 17:25 
Could we set up a system that would also calculate standard deviation on all albums, therefore we would know the most polarizing albums automatically? It would be a cool option to look through in the search system.


irrelevant
Forum Senior Member Joined: March 07 2010 Location: Australia Status: Offline Points: 10748 
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^ Would be!


Dean
Special Collaborator Retired Admin and Amateur Layabout Joined: May 13 2007 Location: Albion Status: Offline Points: 33333 
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I question how useful this would be (I like the idea in principle but...)
From a purely statistical standpoint the population sizes are too small and the ratings are too course to give any meaningful information in a single value (as are the averages in reality). Standard deviation refers to the variance from the mean in a normal symmetrical distribution (ie where mean, median and mode are equal) and ratings do not follow a normal distribution, they are always skewed or truncated, it is very (very) rare for an album to exhibit a normal distribution to the point of being essentially unheard of. For example ITCOTCK, CTTE, DSOTM, TAAB and SEBTP are all skewed or truncated distributions... and there is nothing wrong in this, it's what we would expect because people cannot give greater than 5 or less than 1 ratings to albums and they can only give wholenumber ratings and because ratings are subjective and they are not actually comparative and our "population" is naturally biased and naturally polarised. So this means it is practically impossible for anyone to give a rating that is the mean, median and mode value. The standard deviation can be used to calculate the degree of skew in a distribution but you cannot do that from the mean and standard deviation alone, you need the median or the mode but even that is not enough to tell you that the ratings are polarised, or wrong, or buggeredup, or misleading.
The distribution graphs on each album page tell you a lot but they must be viewed with caution, they can reveal that opinion is polarised or divided but not why that is so, you cannot look at the graph and determine why the distribution is as it is. A standard deviation value tells you even less.


If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would  Neil Gaiman 

Smurph
Forum Senior Member Joined: January 11 2012 Location: Columbus&NYC Status: Offline Points: 2538 
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Understood. Dean you always give reasonable explanations cant argue against this. Thought I would at least run the idea by.


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