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Topic: #39: Median or Mean?
Replies: 4   Last Post: Jun 18, 2008 11:10 AM

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Jonathan

Posts: 245
Registered: 12/3/04
#39: Median or Mean?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 11:00 PM
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We grade this one tomorrow, and I thought there would have been some discussion by now.

1. Wording. I'll send it in with my comments, but they certainly have said "better" and not "best" (which measure of central tendency best represents the data).

2. Which one is it? Rubric says median. Is there mathematical reasoning that backs this up? Before I got the answer key I had two answers to this one jotted down:

a) the median, since $800k is an outlier, and distorts the mean.
b) the mean, since the $400k's are not outliers, but their effect is diminished by using the median.

3. Finally, just cultural or aesthetic: these measures of central tendency are useful for giving snapshots of large groups of data. Seven points really isn't enough.

Jonathan Halabi
HS of American Studies
the Bronx
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