A machine is set to fill the small size packages of M&M candies with 56 candies per bag. A sample revealed: 3 bags of 56, 2 bags of 57, 1 bag of 55, and 2 bags of 58. How many degrees of...

A machine is set to fill the small size packages of M&M candies with 56 candies per bag. A sample revealed: 3 bags of 56, 2 bags of 57, 1 bag of 55, and 2 bags of 58. How many degrees of freedom are there? 

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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The machine is set to fill small size packages of M&M candies with a specified number of candies.

In statistics, the degrees of freedom refers to the number of variables in the final calculation of a statistics that can vary. To determine the number of degrees of freedom in the problem an assumption has to be made that only one type of candy is filled in the small size packages. The sample of packages taken from those that are filled reveals a different number of candies placed in them by the machine. Though the machine is set to fill 56 candies per bag, in the sample taken there are some with 56 while others have 55, 57 and 58 candies.

As the only variable here is the number of candies that are placed in the small package the degrees of freedom is also one.

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