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Mean, median and mode

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Averages

In statistics, an average is de�ned as the number that measures the central

tendency of a given set of numbers. There are a number of di�erent

averages including but not limited to: mean, median, mode and range.

Mean

refers to the number you obtain when you sum up a given set of numbers

and then divide this sum by the total number in the set. Mean is also

referred to more correctly as arithmetic mean.

The mean is found by adding up all the a's and then dividing by the total

number, n

Example 1

Find the mean of the set of numbers below

Solution

The �rst step is to count how many numbers there are in the set, which we

shall call n

The last step is to �nd the actual mean by dividing the sum by n

Mean can also be found for grouped data, but before we see an example

on that, let us �rst de�ne frequency.

Frequency in statistics means the same as in everyday use of the word. The

frequency an element in a set refers to how many of that element there are

in the set. The frequency can be from 0 to as many as possible. If you're

told that the frequency an element a is 3, that means that there are 3 as in

the set.

Example 2

10 0

11 8

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13 2

14 7

Solution

The �rst step is to �nd the total number of ages, which we shall call n. Since

it will be tedious to count all the ages, we can �nd n by adding up the

frequencies:

Next we need to �nd the sum of all the ages. We can do this in two ways:

we can add up each individual age, which will be a long and tedious

process; or we can use the frequency to make things faster.

Since we know that the frequency represents how many of that particular

age there are, we can just multiply each age by its frequency, and then add

up all these products.

sample whereby a sample is a part of a population.

In statistics there are two kinds of means: population mean and sample

mean. A population mean is the true mean of the entire population of the

data set while a sample mean is the mean of a small sample of the

population. These di�erent means appear frequently in both statistics and

probability and should not be confused with each other.

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while sample mean is represented by x̄ (pronounced x bar). The total

number of elements in a population is represented by N while the number

of elements in a sample is represented by n. This leads to an adjustment in

the formula we gave above for calculating the mean.

when the population mean is unknown. This is because they have the same

expected value.

Median

numbers arranged in order of increasing magnitude. When given a set of

numbers, the median is the number positioned in the exact middle of the

list when you arrange the numbers from the lowest to the highest. The

median is also a measure of average. In higher level statistics, median is

used as a measure of dispersion. The median is important because it

describes the behavior of the entire set of numbers.

Example 3

Solution

From the de�nition of median, we should be able to tell that the �rst step is

to rearrange the given set of numbers in order of increasing magnitude, i.e.

from the lowest to the highest

Then we inspect the set to �nd that number which lies in the exact middle.

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Lets try another example to emphasize something interesting that often

occurs when solving for the median.

Example 4

Solution

from the smallest to the largest.

Next we inspect the data to �nd the number that lies in the exact middle.

We can see from the above that we end up with two numbers (4 and 5) in

the middle. We can solve for the median by �nding the mean of these two

numbers as follows:

Mode

given set of elements. Using the de�nition of frequency given above, mode

can also be de�ned as the element with the largest frequency in a given

data set.

For a given data set, there can be more than one mode. As long as those

elements all have the same frequency and that frequency is the highest,

they are all the modal elements of the data set.

Example 5

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Find the Mode of the following data set.

Solution

Mode = 3 and 15

As we saw in the section on data, grouped data is divided into classes. We

have de�ned mode as the element which has the highest frequency in a

given data set. In grouped data, we can �nd two kinds of mode: the Modal

Class, or class with the highest frequency and the mode itself, which we

calculate from the modal class using the formula below.

where

f0 is the frequency of the class before the modal class in the frequency table

f2 is the frequency of the class after the modal class in the frequency table

Example 6

Find the modal class and the actual mode of the data set below

Number Frequency

1-3 7

4-6 6

7-9 4

10 - 12 2

13 - 15 2

16 - 18 8

19 - 21 1

22 - 24 2

25 - 27 3

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Solution

Modal class = 10 - 12

where

L = 10

f1 = 9

f0 = 4

f2 = 2

h=3

therefore,

Range

The range is de�ned as the di�erence between the highest and lowest

number in a given data set.

Example 7

Solution

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