For my data set, I am utilizing SPSS as a statistical analysis tool. Regarding the kurtosis idea and the data produced by SPSS and Excel, I have a few questions. Please clarify the following understandings and ask further questions:

1. Kurtosis is a measure of flatness or peakness (hump) around the mean in the distribution. In terms of distribution tails, it tells whether the dataset is heavy-tailed or light-tailed relative to a normal distribution.

2. A normal distribution has a kurtosis of exactly 3 (excess kurtosis of exactly 0 which is Kurt-3) and is also called a mesokurtic distribution. A distribution with high kurtosis will have its peak bigger than the mesokurtic peak and is called as leptokurtic A distribution with low kurtosis will have its peak smaller than a mesokurtic peak and is called as platykurtic.

Questions:

1. What does it mean by excess kurtosis and what is the significance of using it? I am not getting a clear picture between kurtosis and excess kurtosis except that excess kurtosis is kurtosis-3 so we take 0 as a baseline.

2. SPSS tool generates "excess kurtosis" values or simple "kurtosis" values? In other words what baseline do we generally consider in SPSS for kurtosis measurement and inference? Is it 0 or 3? In SPSS I am getting a kurtosis of 1.16. So if I consider 3 as the baseline then 1.16 is less than 3 and so my distribution could be platykurtic. But if I consider the baseline as 0 (excess kurtosis), then 1.16 is clearly greater than 0 and so my distribution could be leptokurtic.

3. How it works out in excel again? Does the excel formula internally compute kurtosis as (Kurt - 3) or simple Kurt? I mean how to infer the result in MS excel too (baseline 3 or 0)?

Oct 20, 2022 in Others 356 views

## 1 answer to this question.

Kurtosis does not measure "peakedness" or "height" of a distribution. It measures (potential) outliers (rare, extreme observations) only. For a clear explanation, please see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Kurtosis#Why_kurtosis_should_not_be_interpreted_as_.22peakedness.22

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