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'The Average Length of a Sample of 52 Randomly Selected Films'.

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Statistics Coursework 1

Statistics Coursework 1

The title of my investigation is 'The Average Length of a Sample of 52 Randomly Selected Films'. As you can interpret from this title, I am going to investigate into the length of a set of randomly selected feature length films. I have chosen to investigate into this topic because I am a Film Studies student and am required by this subject to produce a feature length film as part of a coursework assignment. This leaves me with the predicament of trying to decide how long my feature film should be. Is there a certain length of film that after the audience has finished watching, they feel that they have not got their money's worth and in consequence leave the cinema feeling disappointed? In contrast, is there a certain length of film that after the audience has finished watching, they are bored because the film has run on for too long? In short, my aim for this investigation is to find the average length of feature films and so enable me to correctly decide the length of my Film Studies coursework film so that the audience leaves happy after viewing it.

To determine a population for my course-work, I am going to use the HMV superstore Internet site to search for my sample of films.

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N = 52 156 6 represents 156 mins.

Stem and Leaf diagram showing the total duration of a sample of 52 films (unsorted)

To help me when constructing a

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Graph Value

My calculated value

Computer value




Standard Deviation







As you can see, the only real discrepancy occurs with the computer's standard deviation, and I can only conclude that this is because it has used a mean with more decimal places, and therefore it is more accurate. It also occurred because the calculated standard deviation was found from grouped data and therefore only an estimate. Graph discrepancies occur because of inaccurate drawing techniques. Other than that, my values are, on the whole, pretty accurate.

The quality of the investigation could be improved by using a more varied population, in an ideal world this would be an Internet site of every film ever made. As this does not exist, the site that contains the most comprehensive list of films will have to do. Which in this case is the site that I used, the HMV superstore site. My method of collection would not vary even if I used another site. If I used three randomly picked numbers for each category, then I would end up with a sample of 78 films, which I think is too produce an accurate report on.

I think that this investigation was a success, as it helped me to gain some information that will help me in another topic, and because it was completed as accurately as I could.

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