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Understanding Central Tendency and Variability

List and fully describe the three measures of central tendency and the two measures of variability. Provide a social work example throughout your discussion post.

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The Three Measures of Central Tendency

The following are the statistical measures in which each play a different role in determining where the center of the distribution or the average score lies (Dr. Christopher L. Heffner, I have referred to Dr. Heffner throughout this response because he provides an accurate and quick reference to your request.

Dr. Heffner provides a good synopsis of these measures.

1. Mean: The Statistical Average (also known as the arithmetic average)

All of the scores are added together and the sum is then divided by the total number of scores.

This measure is used more frequently; however, it is susceptible to extreme scores.

Example provided by Dr. Heffner:
If scores '8', '9', and '10' were added together and divided by 3
The mean would equal '9'

To make it an extreme score,
If '10' were changed to '100'
The mean of '8', '9', and '100' would be '39'

2. Median: The Middle Most Occurring Score when values are arranged in ascending or descending order

The median divides the distributions in half (50% of the numbers are on ...

Solution Summary

This solution will assist the student in understanding the measures of central tendency and the measures of variability within the scope of social work.