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How to decide whether to take mean, median, mode, or range?

For each of the following data sets, select the best measure of central tendency, explain why your selection is the best measure, and then compute that measure of central tendency for the data.

1. Approximate average household incomes for families that live in the Fallen Pines subdivision (in thousands of dollars: 55, 59, 39, 67, 54, 90, 62, 60, 840, 390, 450, 96, 55, 55, 29, 66, 62, 45, 80, 69

2. Area of residential lot in acres: 0.19, 0.24, 0.24, 0.24, 0.26, 0.26, 0.27, 0.19, 0.22, 0.26, 0.27, 0.28, 0.3, 0.3, 0.3, 0.19, 0.19, 0.22, 0.22, 0.24

3. Brand of automobile owned by families that live in the Fallen pines subdivision: Subaru, Subaru, Chrysler, Honda, BMW, Subaru, Ford, GM, Toyota, Ford, Toyota, Subaru, Honda, Toyota, Ford, GM, Mercedes Benz, Lexus, Volkswagen, Subaru

Solution Preview

1) In this case, since the data is so wide-ranging, the median is probably the best since it does not allow much for outliers (like 840 and 390, which are much higher than the rest of the ...

Solution Summary

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different ways to find the "central tendency?" Why would you use mean instead of median, for example? In this solution we consider this question by finding the best way of finding central tendency in 3 different data sets.

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