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A statistical term denoting the variability of a distribution around the mean or other central tendencies. Actuaries and risk managers often develop and analyze this to determine the variability of risk. The less dispersion of the distribution, the greater the likelihood that actual results or losses will fall within a specified range of that central tendency and the result is a lower variability of risk. Wide dispersion of results means less certainty in predicting a particular outcome. Statistics that are measures of this variability include the range, variance, and standard deviation.


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