GraphPad’s advice regarding when to plot SD versus SEM:
If you want to create persuasive propaganda: If your goal is to emphasize small and unimportant differences in your data, show your error bars as SEM, and hope that your readers think they are SD. If your goal is to cover-up large differences, show the error bars as the standard deviations for the groups, and hope that your readers think they are a standard errors.
I am an MD/PhD student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. My doctoral work focused on tissue engineering approaches to study stem and progenitor cell fate in the developing liver. Learn more.
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