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Mean and Median Measures of Central Tendency

Please address the following question: When is the mean the best measure of central tendency? When is the median the best measure of central tendency?

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Mean: The mean is the arithmetic average, or simply the average, of a set of scores. You are probably more familiar with it than any other measure of central tendency. You encounter the mean in everyday life whenever you calculate your exam average, batting average, gas mileage average, or a host of other averages.

Median: The median is a number that separates the higher half of a sample, a population, or a probability distribution from the lower half. More precisely 1/2 of the population will have values less than or equal to the median and 1/2 of the population will have values equal to or greater than the median.

The median is the middle score in a distribution of scores that have been ranked in numerical order. If the median is located between two scores, it is assigned the value of the midpoint between them (for example, the median of 23, 34, 55, and 68 would equal 44.5). The median is the best measure of ...

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This solution provides a discussion for measures of central tendency.

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