# Measuring Central Tendency

This Discussion will give you the opportunity to calculate or identify the three measures of central tendency. Select an appropriate real life situation where one measure would be more appropriate than the other two measures of center.

a. Select a common topic or hypothesis and record the topic in your posting, for example: "What is the average number of hours you watch TV every week?" You may use one of your Week Four hypotheses.
b. Sample at least 15 people and record their data in a simple table or chart;
c. You can gather your data at work, on the phone, or via some other method. This is your "Sampling Design." Which of the four sampling techniques best describes your design?
d. Explain in moderate detail the method you used to gather your data. In statistics this venture is called the "Methodology."
e. Make sure you break your sample into classes or groups, such as: males/females or ages or time of day, etc.
f. Calculate the mean, median, and mode for your data as a whole.
g. Now calculate the mean, median, and mode of each of your classes or groups.
h. Indicate which measure of central tendency BEST describes your data and WHY.
i. Now compare your results in part h for each class or group, and point out any interesting results or unusual outcomes between the classes or groups. This is called a "comparative analysis" - using our results to explain interesting outcomes or differences (for example, between men and women).

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Elisabeth Nicholson, PhD (IP)

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Active since 2006

BA in Anthropology and Mathematics, Barnard College, Columbia University
PhD in Evolutionary Biology, Northwestern University

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