Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. In statistics, Bessel's correction, named after Friedrich Bessel, is the use of n − 1 instead of n in the formula for the sample variance and sample standard deviation, where n is the number of observations in a sample: it corrects the bias in the estimation of the population variance, and some of the bias in the estimation of the population standard deviation. That is, when estimating the population variance and standard deviation from a sample when the population mean is unknown, the sample variance is a biased estimator of the population variance, and systematically underestimates it. Multiplying the standard sample variance by n/(n − 1) (equivalently, using 1/(n − 1) instead of 1/n) corrects for this, and gives an unbiased estimator of the population variance. The cost of this correction is that the unbiased estimator has uniformly higher mean squared error than the biased estimator