– How to choose between mean and median to summarize data?
Mean, median, and mode are three measures of central tendency that are commonly used to describe a set of numerical data.
The mean is the average of all the values in a dataset. It is calculated by adding up all the values and dividing by the total number of values. The mean is sensitive to outliers, which can significantly affect its value.
The median is the middle value in a dataset, that is, the value corresponding to the 50th percentile when all of the observations are sorted in ascending order. If the dataset has an even number of values, the median is the average of the two middle values. The median is less sensitive to outliers than the mean and is often used when there are extreme values in the dataset.
The mode is the value that appears most frequently in a dataset. In some datasets, there may be no mode, or there may be multiple modes. The mode is often used when dealing with categorical or discrete data, such as the number of times a certain event occurs.
Examples explaining Mean, Median and Mode:
In summary, the mean is the average value, the median is the middle value, and the mode is the most common value in a dataset. All three measures provide valuable information about a dataset, and their choice depends on the nature of the data and the research question being addressed.
In this video by Math Antics, it explains the ‘why’ behind the usage of central tendency statistics: mean, median and mode and succinctly explains the concepts using real world examples. (Runtime: 11:03 min)