Central Tendency

Central Tendency
The Aim
• The main purpose of Measures of Central
Tendency is to provide a single summary
figure that best describes the central location
of an entire distribution.
• A measure of Central Tendency also helps to
simplify comparison of two or more groups
tested under different conditions
• Mode is the measure of most frequent score
in the distribution.
– The symbol for mode is Mo
• For an ungrouped data, the score which has
highest frequency is the mode
• For a grouped data, the midpoint of the
interval that contains the greatest number of
the scores is the mode
• Median is the 50th percentile in a
distribution. That is the score below which
half of the scores fall
–The symbol for median is Mdn
• To find the median, we need to rank order
the scores.
• For ungrouped/raw scores, median is the middle score of the
– If n (or N) is odd, the median will be the score that has an equal
number of score below and above it.
• For the distribution of 0,7,9,10, and 15 the median is 9
– If n (or N) is even, there is no middle score. So, median is taken as the
point halfway between the two score.
• For the distribution of 2,4,5,6,8, and 10 the median is between 5 and 6.
– Mdn = 5 + (6-5)/2 = 5.5
– If median fall between a repeating numbers, we will need to infer it by
using interpolation.
• For the distribution of 4,5,6,6,6,7,9, and 10, the median falls between second 6 and
third 6. That is, median falls2/3 of the interval between 5.5 and 6.5 with interval
width 1.0.
• So, the median is 5.5 + (2/3)X 1.0= 5.5 + .67 = 6.17
• For grouped data, the median is 50th percentile. So, we
can fallow the same steps that we used to calculate the
– Find which interval the score falls into.
– Find how many cases are located in this interval
– Find the difference between the percentile rank (median)
and the cumulative frequency of the lower interval. That
is, the number of the cases that we need to go up to reach
the percentile rank
– Calculate the proportion for the percentile and multiply it
by the interval width
– Add the result to the lower limit of the interval
Arithmetic Mean
• Arithmetic mean is the sum of score in a
distribution divided by the total number of
– The symbol for mean is X bar for sample, and mu for
– We use the symbol “sum of …” in the formula
• For raw scores, mean is equal to sum of X divided
by n
• For grouped scores, we multiply midpoint of each
interval by f , sum these numbers, and divide it by
Prosperities of measures of Central Tendency
• Mode:
– It is not very stable from sample to sample.
– There may be more than one mode for a
particular set of scores
– Mode is the only measure that can be used for the
data collected by a nominal scale
• So , Mode can be used for all kinds of scales
Prosperities of measures of Central Tendency
• Median:
– Median is less sensitive to the presence of extreme
• So, for strongly asymmetrical distributions or distributions
with a few very deviant scores, the median may be the
better choice for measuring central tendency
– Median is a good choice for the scores that researcher
cannot record the exact value for the upper end of
– Median is more stable than mode. It is more resistant
to the influence of sampling fluctuation
– Median cannot be used for nominal data.
Prosperities of measures of Central Tendency
• Mean:
– Unlike the other measures of central tendency,
the mean is responsive to the exact position of
each score in distribution.
– Mean is the balance point of a distribution.
– The mean is more sensitive to the presence (or
absence) of extreme scores
– Mean cannot be used for nominal and ordinal

similar documents