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Data Handling: Mean, Median & Mode

**Measures of Central Tendency** or

**Averages**

**Arithmetic Mean **

- The arithmetic mean of a set of numbers is the sum of numbers divided by the number of numbers in the set : Mean = sum of the numbers/number of numbers
- It is most the reliable measure provided there are
**no extreme values** in the data because all the values in the data are used in calculating.
- Whenever the set of data contains extreme values, the median or mode would probably be more reliable because they are not influenced by extreme values.

**Mode**

- The number which occurs most frequently in a set of numbers
- It is most useful in business planning as a
**measure of popularity** that reflects central tendency or opinion.

**Median**

- May be preferred as a measure of central tendency for describing economic, sociological and educational data.
- The median is popular in the study of social sciences because much of the data in the social sciences contain extreme values, in the set of household incomes.
- Median for an
*odd number of numbers* is the *middle number *when the numbers are arranged in order of magnitude (i.e. ascending/descending order)
- Median for an
**even number of numbers** is the *mean of the two middle numbers* when the numbers are arranged in order of magnitude

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