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com/residual/

When you perform simple linear regression (or any other type of regression analysis), you get a line

of best fit. The data points usually don’t fall exactly on this regression equation line; they are

scattered around. A residual is the vertical distance between a data point and the regression line.

Each data point has one residual. They are positive if they are above the regression line and negative

if they are below the regression line. If the regression line actually passes through the point, the

residual at that point is zero.

residual

As residuals are the difference between any data point and the regression line, they are sometimes

called “errors.” Error in this context doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with the analysis; it

just means that there is some unexplained difference. In other words, the residual is the error that

isn’t explained by the regression line.

The residual(e) can also be expressed with an equation. The e is the difference between the

predicted value (ŷ) and the observed value. The scatter plot is a set of data points that are observed,

while the regression line is the prediction.

e=y–ŷ

The sum of the residuals always equals zero (assuming that your line is actually the line of “best fit.”

If you want to know why (involves a little algebra), see here and here. The mean of residuals is also

equal to zero, as the mean = the sum of the residuals / the number of items. The sum is zero, so 0/n

will always equal zero.

Check out our YouTube channel for hundreds of help videos on elementary statistics!

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