Central Tendency

Measures of central tendency are measures that are typical, average, or representative of a group of numbers.

Each measure of central tendency is more useful in some situations than in others.


How are each of the measures similar and how are they different? (Know this for the midterm.)

These are all ways to answer the question, "What's typical?"

If you are a mode person, you say, typical is the answer that occurred most frequently.
If you are a mean person, you say, typical is the balance point, the center of gravity of my data.
If you are a median person, you say, typical is the middle of all of the observations, where half is above and half is below. (The median is less influenced by outliers than the mean, so can be more reliable when there are extreme outliers.)


What do they pay attention to?
The median throws out half the data. The mode only pays attention to what occurs most often. The mean takes into account every single observation.


The three most common measures of central tendency are the mean, the median, and the mode.