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Correct interpretation of kurtosis
Journal of the Korean Data & Information Science Society 2019;30:967-76
Published online September 30, 2019;
© 2019 Korean Data and Information Science Society.

Taewoong Uhm1 · Seongbaek Yi2

12Department of Statistics, Pukyong National University
Correspondence to: Professor, Department of Statistics, Pukyong National University, Busan 48513, Republic of Korea. E-mail:

This work was supported by a Research Grant of Pukyong National University (2019).
Received August 26, 2019; Revised September 15, 2019; Accepted September 16, 2019.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The fourth moment κ has not been interpreted in one cord. Many textbooks say the kurtosis tells how much peaked the underlying distribution is at the center part of the support, but there have been many studies telling that kurtosis does not yield any information about the center portion of the distribution. This paper reviews different interpretations about kurtosis aiming to reach correct interpretation that the kurtosis tells how thick the tail part of the distribution is, not how peaked its central part. Finally we propose an appropriate Korean term for the kurtosis which includes clearly its actual meaning.
Keywords : Fourth moment, kurtosis, peakedness, tailedness.