Meaning of Asymmetry

There are concepts that are only understood by opposition: asymmetry is one of them. The dictionaries define this term as the lack of symmetry or otherwise thereto. Therefore, it is essential to know what symmetry is to understand the idea of ​​asymmetry.

Originating in Latin symmetria and earliest history in the Greek language, symmetry is the quality that refers to the correspondence in terms of dimensions, shapes and locations of the various components that make up a whole. Symmetry can also be considered with respect to a plane or a position.

When such correspondence does not exist, one speaks of asymmetry. In other words: what is not symmetrical is asymmetric. At a general level, it can be said that symmetry is associated with beauty, so what has asymmetry is not beautiful or dissonant in its lack of harmony.

This idea of ​​symmetry as a synonym of beauty applies to both living beings and sculptures and, in general, to any creation of man or element of nature. For example, many people often pursue device designs such as televisions or cell phones that exhibit a symmetrical appearance, as opposed to that of older tube televisions (with the display on one side and controls on the other) and disk (with the cable connecting the receiver to the base hanging on one side of the device).

However, not everyone considers asymmetry as a negative trait; on the contrary, in all areas there are many people who appreciate the unique quality that an asymmetrical arrangement of features or forms can imprint on a living being or on any natural or artificial object. In this same line of thought, symmetry is associated with the artificial, with something that has no life, such as a mannequin, and is not valued positively in a sculpture, since it represents a human being taking into account its plane emotional.

Statistical asymmetry

The indicators by which it is possible to identify the degree of symmetry or asymmetry present in a probability distribution (a function that assigns the probability of occurrence to a series of determined events) of a random variable (also known as stochastic variable, is a function that assigns events to real numbers) without the need to represent it graphically they are called asymmetry measures.

In this context, taking as reference the axis that passes through the mean of said distribution, the line parallel to said axis is called the axis of symmetry. When the number of values is equal to both sides (to the right and to the left), the distribution is said to be symmetric; In this case, the number of positive and negative deviations also coincide.

The asymmetry on the right, also called asymmetry negative, occurs when the number of values to the right of the average is greater than the negative (found on the left); This can also be expressed by saying that the tail is longer on that side of the mean. The opposite case is called negative or left skewness.

A concept related to asymmetry within the field of statistics is kurtosis, also called pointing. This is the level of sharpness or flatness that presents a probability distribution with respect to the normal; in other words, it is the measurement that serves to determine how pointy your appearance is. The three types of kurtosis possible allow us to speak of leptokurtic, mesocurtic, and platicortic distributions, depending on whether the concentration is high, normal, or low, respectively.


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