Numerical Measures of Central Tendency and Variability

Read these sections and complete the questions at the end of each section. First, we will define central tendency and introduce mean, median, and mode. We will then elaborate on median and mean and discusses their strengths and weaknesses in measuring central tendency. Finally, we'll address variability, range, interquartile range, variance, and the standard deviation. 

Measures of Central Tendency

Learning Objectives

  1. Compute mean
  2. Compute median
  3. Compute mode

In the previous section we saw that there are several ways to define central tendency. This section defines the three most common measures of central tendency: the mean, the median, and the mode. The relationships among these measures of central tendency and the definitions given in the previous section will probably not be obvious to you. Rather than just tell you these relationships, we will allow you to discover them in the simulations in the sections that follow.

This section gives only the basic definitions of the mean, median, and mode. A further discussion of the relative merits and proper applications of these statistics is presented in a later section.