File seldom fit a right line precisely. Generally, you need to be satisfied via stormy predictions. Normally, you have actually a set of information whose scatter plot appears to “fit” a directly line. This is referred to as a Line of Best Fit or Least-Squares Line.

You are watching: What does a residual value of 1.3 mean when referring to the line of best fit of a data set?

Example 1

A random sample of 11 statistics students produced the adhering to data, where x is the 3rd exam score out of 80, and y is the last exam score out of 200. Can you predict the last exam score of a random student if you understand the 3rd exam score?

x (third exam score)y (final exam score)

Table reflecting the scores on the final exam based on scores from the third exam.


Scatter plot reflecting the scores on the last exam based upon scores from the 3rd exam.

Try It

SCUBA divers have maximum dive times they cannot exceed when going to different depths. The data in the table display various depths via the maximum dive times in minutes.

Depth (in feet)Maximum dive time (in minutes)
Can you predict the maximum dive time of a random diver if you recognize the depth?What is the maximum dive time if a diver dives at 110 feet?
Sjust how Answer
max dive time = 127.24 – 1.1143 * depthAt 110 feet, a diver can dive for only five minutes.

The 3rd exam score, x, is the independent variable and also the final exam score, y, is the dependent variable. We will certainly plot a regression line that finest “fits” the data. If each of you were to fit a line “by eye,” you would draw different lines. We have the right to use what is dubbed a least-squares regression line to acquire the ideal fit line.

Consider the following diagram. Each allude of information is of the the create (x, y) and also each allude of the line of best fit making use of least-squares direct regression has actually the create displaystyle(xhaty).

The displaystylehaty is read “y hat” and is the approximated worth of y. It is the worth of y derived making use of the regression line. It is not generally equal to y from data.


The term displaystyley_0-haty_0=epsilon_0 is called the “error” or residual. It is not an error in the feeling of a mistake. The absolute value of a residual procedures the vertical distance between the actual value of y and also the approximated value of y. In various other words, it procedures the vertical distance between the actual data point and also the predicted suggest on the line.

If the oboffered data point lies above the line, the residual is positive, and also the line underapproximates the actual data worth for y.If the oboffered information allude lies below the line, the residual is negative, and also the line overapproximates that actual information worth for y.

In the diagram above, displaystyley_0-haty_0=epsilon_0 is the residual for the allude displayed. Here the suggest lies above the line and also the residual is positive.

ε = the Greek letter epsilon

For each data point, you deserve to calculate the residuals or errors,epsilon_i = y_i-haty_i for i = 1, 2, 3, …, 11.

Each |ε| is a vertical distance.

For the example around the 3rd exam scores and also the final exam scores for the 11 statistics students, there are 11 data points. Because of this, tbelow are 11 ε values. If you square each ε and also include, you get


This is referred to as the Sum of Squared Errors (SSE).

Using calculus, you can recognize the values of a and b that make the SSE a minimum. When you make the SSE a minimum, you have actually established the points that are on the line of ideal fit. It turns out that the line of best fit has actually the equation:


wbelow displaystylea=overliney-boverlinex and b=fracsum(x-overlinex)(y-overliney)sum(x-overlinex)^2.

The sample suggests of the x-worths and the y-worths are displaystyleoverlinex and also overliney.

The slope b have the right to be composed as displaystyleb=rleft(fracs_ys_x ight) where

sy = the standard deviation of the y-values,sx = the typical deviation of the x-worths,r is the correlation coreliable, which is discussed in the following section.

Leastern Squares Criteria for Best Fit

The procedure of fitting the best-fit line is called linear regression. The principle behind finding the best-fit line is based upon the assumption that the data are scattered around a directly line. The criteria for the ideal fit line is that the amount of the squared errors (SSE) is reduced, that is, made as tiny as possible. Any various other line you could select would have actually a higher SSE than the ideal fit line. This finest fit line is referred to as the least-squares regression line.


Computer spreadsheets, statistical software, and many calculators have the right to easily calculate the best-fit line and also develop the graphs. The calculations tfinish to be tedious if done by hand. Instructions to use the TI-83, TI-83+, and also TI-84+ calculators to find the best-fit line and also create a scatterplot are displayed at the end of this section.

Third Exam vs Final Exam Example

The graph of the line of best fit for the third-exam/final-exam instance is as follows:


The least squares regression line (best-fit line) for the third-exam/final-exam example has the equation:


Remember, it is always important to plot a scatter diagram initially. If the scatter plot suggests that tright here is a linear relationship between the variables, then it is reasonable to usage a best fit line to make predictions for y given x within the domajor of x-worths in the sample information, however not necessarily for x-values external that domain. You can use the line to predict the last exam score for a student that earned a grade of 73 on the 3rd exam. You must NOT use the line to predict the last exam score for a student that earned a grade of 50 on the third exam, bereason 50 is not within the domain of the x-values in the sample information, which are in between 65 and 75.

Understanding Slope

The slope of the line, b, describes how alters in the variables are related. It is essential to analyze the slope of the line in the conmessage of the instance represented by the data. You should be able to write a sentence interpreting the slope in simple English.

Interpretation of the Slope: The slope of the best-fit line tells us just how the dependent variable (y) transforms for every one unit boost in the independent (x) variable, on average.

Third Exam vs Final Exam Example: displaystylehaty=-173.51+4.83x

Slope: The slope of the line is b = 4.83.

Interpretation: For a one-suggest increase in the score on the third exam (x), the last exam score (y) rises by 4.83 points, on average.


Using the Liclose to Regression T Test: LinRegTTestIn the STAT list editor, enter the X information in list L1 and also the Y data in list L2, paired so that the matching (x,y) worths are alongside each various other in the lists. (If a specific pair of values is repetitive, enter it as many kind of times as it shows up in the information.)On the STAT TESTS food selection, scroll dvery own with the cursor to choose the LinRegTTest. (Be mindful to choose LinRegTTest, as some calculators may likewise have a various item called LinRegTInt.)On the LinRegTTest input display screen enter: Xlist: L1 ; Ylist: L2 ; Freq: 1On the next line, at the prompt β or ρ, highlight “≠ 0” and also press ENTERLeave the line for “RegEq:” blankHighlight Calculate and press ENTER.


The output display includes the majority of indevelopment. For now we will focus on a few items from the output, and will certainly rerotate later to the other items.

The second line says y = a + bx. Scroll dvery own to find the worths a = –173.513, and b = 4.8273; the equation of the finest fit line is ŷ = –173.51 + 4.83xThe 2 items at the bottom are r2 = 0.43969 and r = 0.663. For now, simply note wright here to discover these values; we will certainly comment on them in the following two sections.

Graphing the Scatterplot and also Regression Line

We are assuming your X data is already gone into in list L1 and your Y data is in list L2Press second STATPLOT ENTER to usage Plot 1On the input display for PLOT 1, highlightOn, and press ENTERFor TYPE: highlight the extremely initially icon which is the scatterplot and also push ENTERIndicate Xlist: L1 and Ylist: L2For Mark: it does not issue which symbol you highlight.Press the ZOOM vital and then the number 9 (for food selection item “ZoomStat”) ; the calculator will certainly fit the home window to the dataTo graph the best-fit line, push the “Y=” essential and also type the equation –173.5 + 4.83X right into equation Y1. (The X vital is immediately left of the STAT key). Press ZOOM 9 aobtain to graph it.Optional: If you desire to change the viewing window, press the WINDOW essential. Enter your preferred home window using Xmin, Xmax, Ymin, YmaxNote

Another method to graph the line after you create a scatter plot is to use LinRegTTest. Make certain you have done the scatter plot. Check it on your screen.Go to LinRegTTest and also enter the lists. At RegEq: push VARS and also arrow over to Y-VARS. Press 1 for 1:Function. Press 1 for 1:Y1. Then arrowhead dvery own to Calculate and also execute the calculation for the line of ideal fit.Press Y = (you will certainly check out the regression equation).Press GRAPH. The line will be drawn.”

The Correlation Coefficient, r

Besides looking at the scatter plot and also seeing that a line appears reasonable, just how have the right to you tell if the line is a great predictor? Use the correlation coeffective as another indicator (besides the scatterplot) of the stamina of the partnership between x and also y.

The correlation coefficient, r, emerged by Karl Pearkid in the early 1900s, is numerical and gives a measure of toughness and also direction of the straight association between the independent variable x and also the dependent variable y.

The correlation coefficient is calculated as r=frac nsum(xy)-(sumx)(sumy) sqrtleftleft

where n = the variety of information points.

If you suspect a straight partnership between x and also y, then r can meacertain how solid the straight partnership is.

What the VALUE of r tells us: The value of r is constantly in between –1 and also +1: –1 ≤ r ≤ 1. The size of the correlation rindicates the stamina of the direct relationship between x and y. Values of r close to –1 or to +1 suggest a more powerful direct partnership in between x and y. If r = 0 tright here is absolutely no straight relationship in between x and also y (no straight correlation). If r = 1, tbelow is perfect positive correlation. If r = –1, tbelow is perfect negativecorrelation. In both these instances, every one of the original data points lie on a right line. Of course,in the genuine civilization, this will not mostly happen.

What the SIGN of r tells us: A positive value of r means that once x increases, y has a tendency to increase and when x decreases, y tends to decrease (positive correlation). A negative worth of r implies that once x boosts, y tends to decrease and once x decreases, y has a tendency to rise (negative correlation). The sign of r is the same as the authorize of the slope,b, of the best-fit line.


Strong correlation does not indicate that x causes or y causes x. We say “correlation does not imply causation.”


(a) A scatter plot reflecting information via a positive correlation. 0

The Coreliable of Determination, r2

The variable r2 is referred to as the coreliable of determination and is the square of the correlation coefficient, but is typically declared as a percent, quite than in decimal create. It has actually an interpretation in the context of the data:

r2, once expressed as a percent, represents the percent of variation in the dependent (predicted) variable y that have the right to be defined by variation in the independent (explanatory) variable x using the regression (best-fit) line.1 – r2, once expressed as a portion, represents the percent of variation in y that is NOT explained by variation in x utilizing the regression line. This have the right to be viewed as the scattering of the oboffered data points about the regression line.

Third Exam vs Final Exam Example: 

The line of best fit is displaystylehaty=-173.51+4.83x

The correlation coefficient is r = 0.6631

The coeffective of determination is r2 = 0.66312 = 0.4397

Interpretation of r2 in the context of this example: Approximately 44% of the variation (0.4397 is roughly 0.44) in the final-exam grades deserve to be explained by the variation in the grades on the third exam, utilizing the best-fit regression line. Therefore, about 56% of the variation (1 – 0.44 = 0.56) in the last exam qualities have the right to NOT be defined by the variation in the qualities on the 3rd exam, making use of the best-fit regression line. (This is seen as the scattering of the points about the line.)

Concept Review

A regression line, or a line of ideal fit, deserve to be attracted on a scatter plot and also used to predict outcomes for the x and also y variables in a offered data collection or sample data. Tbelow are a number of ways to find a regression line, however normally the least-squares regression line is provided because it creates a uniform line. Residuals, also dubbed “errors,” meacertain the distance from the actual worth of y and the approximated value of y. The Sum of Squared Errors, as soon as set to its minimum, calculates the points on the line of ideal fit. Regression lines deserve to be used to predict values within the offered collection of data, yet need to not be offered to make predictions for values external the set of information.

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The correlation coefficient r procedures the toughness of the linear association in between x and y. The variable r has to be between –1 and +1. When r is positive, the x and also y will tfinish to boost and decrease together. When r is negative, x will certainly increase and y will certainly decrease, or the opposite, x will decrease and y will increase. The coeffective of determicountry r2, is equal to the square of the correlation coefficient. When expressed as a percent, r2 represents the percent of variation in the dependent variable y that can be described by variation in the independent variable x making use of the regression line.