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2.3 Measures of Central Tendency
(mean, median, mode)
Mean (finding the average)
β€’ Make sure you have these equations written down.
β€’ πœ‡ = mu and represents population mean
β€’ π‘₯ = sample mean
β€’ 𝑁 = population entries
β€’ 𝑛 = sample entries
Finding a Sample Mean
β€’ The prices (in dollars) for a sample of round-trip flights from Chicago,
Illinois to Cancun, Mexico are listed. What is the mean price of the
Finding Median of an odd sample size (middle
β€’ Find the median of the flight prices (from example 1) below.
β€’ When finding the median, ALWAYS order the numbers.
β€’ Median is 427.
Finding the Median of an even sample
β€’ Find the median of the flight prices listed below.
β€’ Notice they are already organized.
β€’ Since it is even, find the average of the two middle prices: 397 and
427, which is 412.
β€’ So the median is 412.
Finding the Mode (most frequent)
β€’ Find the mode of the flight prices from example 1
β€’ Organizing the data is not required, but does make it easier.
β€’ The number that occurs the most frequently is 397.
β€’ Note: A stem-and-leaf plot would also be helpful when dealing with a
large number of entries.
Finding the Mode
β€’ In a survey, 1000 U.S. adults were asked if they thought public cellular
phone conversations were rude. Of those surveyed, 510 responded
β€œYes,” 370 responded β€œNo,” and 120 responded β€œNot sure.” What is
the mode of the responses?
Comparing the Mean, Median, and Mode
β€’ On your own: Find the mean, median and mode of the sample ages of
students in a class shown in the table. Which measure of central
tendency best describes a typical entry of this data set? Are there any
Start by finding 𝑛
Mean: π‘₯ = =
= 23.8 years
= 21.5 years
Mode: 20
Note: the mean is more affected
by outliers than the median.
Seeing outliers on a histogram
β€’ Looking at a histogram for the ages in our sample class, we can see a
large gap. In this case, the median would be the best measure of
central tendency.
Finding a weighted mean (π‘₯ =
𝑀 = weight)
It will help to organize the data into a table of some sort.
Finding a weighted mean cont.
Plugging it into the formula: π‘₯ =
= 88.6
Finding a weighted mean cont.
β€’ For the month of May, a checking account has a balance of $523 for
15 days, $1985 for 5 days, $1410 for 5 days, and $348 for 6 days.
What is the account’s mean daily balance for May?
Mean of a Frequency Distribution
β€’ Make sure the equation is written in your notes, be careful it is an
β€’ π‘₯ =the midpoint of a class
β€’ 𝑓 = the frequency of the corresponding class
β€’ 𝑛 = the total number of frequencies
Finding the Mean of a Frequency Distribution
β€’ Use the frequency distribution at the left to approximate the mean
number of minutes that a sample of Internet subscribers spent online
during their most recent session.
Once again, plugging the information into the
formula would be
β‰ˆ 41.8 minutes
Shapes of distributions
Skewed Left
Skewed Right
Practice Problems
β€’ Pg. 72 #1 – 4, 9 – 18, 38, 40 – 43