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You are on page 1of 12

Let's start off with some raw data (not a grouped frequency) ...

Example: Alex did a survey of how many games each of 20 friends owned,

and got this:

9, 15, 11, 12, 3, 5, 10, 20, 14, 6, 8, 8, 12, 12, 18, 15, 6, 9, 18, 11

To find the Mean, add up all the numbers, then divide by how many numbers there are:

Mean =

=

9+15+11+12+3+5+10+20+14+6+8+8+12+12+18+15+6+9+18+11

20

11.1

To find the Median, place the numbers in value order and find the middle number (or the

mean of the middle two numbers). In this case the mean of the 10th and 11th values:

3, 5, 6, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 11, 12, 12, 12, 14, 15, 15, 18, 18, 20:

Median =

11 + 11

2

= 11

To find the Mode, or modal value, place the numbers in value order then count how many of

each number. The Mode is the number which appears most often (there can be more than

one mode):

3, 5, 6, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 11, 12, 12, 12, 14, 15, 15, 18, 18, 20:

12 appears three times, more often than the other values, so Mode = 12

Number of

games

1-5

6 - 10

11 - 15

16 - 20

Frequency

2

7

8

3

(It says that 2 of Alex's friends own somewhere between 1 and 5 games, 7 own between 6

and 10 games, etc)

Example: If the only given are:

Number of

games

1-5

6 - 10

11 - 15

16 - 20

Frequency

2

7

8

3

The groups (1-5, 6-10, etc) also called class intervals, are of width 5

The midpoints are halfway between the lower and upper class boundaries

So, how does this work?

Think about Alex's 7 friends who are in the group 6 - 10: all we know is that they each have

between 6 and 10 games:

But it is more likely that there is a spread of numbers: some have 6, some have 7, and

so on

So we take an average: we assume that all seven of them have 8 games (8 is the average

of 6 and 10), which is the midpoint of the group.

So, we could make the table in a different way:

Midpoint

3

8

13

18

Frequency

2

7

8

3

Now we think "2 people have 3 games, 7 people have 8 games, 8 people have 13 games

and 3 people have 18 games", so we imagine the data looks like this:

3, 3, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 18, 18, 18

Now we can add them all up and divide by 20. This is the quick way to do it:

Midpoint Frequency

x

f

3

2

8

7

13

8

18

3

20

Totals:

fx

6

56

104

54

220

Estimated Mean =

220

20

= 11

To estimate the Median, let's look at our data again:

Number of

games

1-5

6 - 10

11 - 15

16 - 20

Frequency

2

7

8

3

The median is the mean of the middle two numbers (the 10th and 11th values) ...

... and they are both in the 11 - 15 group:

But if we need to estimate a single Median value we can use this formula:

Estimated Median = L +

(n/2) cfb

fm

where:

cfb is the cumulative frequency of the groups before the median group

L = 11

n = 20

cfb = 2 + 7 = 9

fm = 8

w=5

(20/2) 9

Estimated Median = 11 +

= 11 + (1/8) x 5

= 11.625

Again, looking at our data:

Number of

games

1-5

6 - 10

11 - 15

16 - 20

Frequency

2

7

8

3

We can easily find the modal group (the group with the highest frequency), which is 11 - 15

But the actual Mode may not even be in that group! Or there may be more than one mode.

Without the raw data we don't really know.

But, we can estimate the Mode using the following formula:

Estimated Mode = L +

fm fm-1

(fm fm-1) + (fm fm+1)

where:

In this example:

L = 11

fm-1 = 7

fm = 8

fm+1 = 3

w=5

Estimated Mode = 11 +

87

(8 7) + (8 3)

= 11 + (1/6) 5

= 11.833...

Our final result is:

Estimated Mean: 11

Estimated Median: 11.625

Estimated Mode: 11.833...

(Compare that with the true Mean, Median and Mode of 11.1, 11 and 12 that we got at the

very start.)

And that is how it is done.

Now let us look at two more special examples, and get some more practice along the way!

Continuous Data

Data can be Discrete or Continuous:

Discrete data can only take certain values, like our previous example (games owned)

Continuous data can take any value (within a range), such as length or weight

Continuous data can be treated in exactly the same way as discrete data, but with one

important difference.

Example: You grew fifty baby carrots using special soil. You dig them up and

measure their lengths (to the nearest mm) and group the results:

Length

(mm)

150 - 154

155 - 159

160 - 164

165 - 169

170 - 174

175 - 179

180 - 184

185 - 189

Frequency

5

2

6

8

9

11

6

3

The clue is "to the nearest mm".

Similarly 159.49 mm is rounded down to 159 mm (and also be placed in 155 - 159).

So lengths from 154.5 up to (but not including) 159.5 get placed in 155 - 159

And so for continuous data "155 - 159" has two types of numbers at the beginning and end:

the lower class boundary of 155 and the upper class boundary of 159

the lower class limit of 154.5 and upper class limit of 159.5

Note that the upper class limit of one class interval is the lower class limit of the next class

interval.

So, how does this affect our calculations?

But the Median and Mode now have L = Lower class limit (rather than Lower class

boundary)

Mean

Length

(mm)

150 - 154

155 - 159

160 - 164

165 - 169

170 - 174

175 - 179

180 - 184

185 - 189

Midpoint

x

152

157

162

167

172

177

182

187

Totals:

Estimated Mean =

Frequency

f

5

2

6

8

9

11

6

3

50

8530

50

fx

760

314

972

1336

1548

1947

1092

561

8530

= 170.6 mm

Median

The Median is the mean of the 25th and the 26th length, so is in the 170 - 174 group:

n = 50

cfb = 5 + 2 + 6 + 8 = 21

fm = 9

w=5

(50/2) 21

9

= 169.5 + 2.22...

= 171.7 mm (to 1 decimal)

Mode

The Modal group is the one with the highest frequency, which is 175 - 179:

fm-1 = 9

fm = 11

fm+1 = 6

w=5

11 9

(11 9) + (11 6)

= 174.5 + 1.42...

= 175.9 mm (to 1 decimal)

Ages

Age is a special case.

When we say "Sarah is 17" she stays "17" up until her eighteenth birthday.

She might be 17 years and 364 days old and still be called "17".

In other words, even though "age" is a continuous variable (time), we treat it as discrete.

Example: The ages of the 112 people who live on a tropical island are grouped

as follows:

Age

Number

0-9

10 - 19

20

21

20 - 29

30 - 39

40 - 49

50 - 59

60 - 69

70 - 79

80 - 89

23

16

11

10

7

3

1

A child in the first group 0 - 9 could be almost 10 years old. So the midpoint for this group

is 5 not 4.5

The midpoints are 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75 and 85

Similarly, in the calculations of Median and Mode, we will use the class boundaries 0, 10, 20

etc

Mean

Age

0-9

10 - 19

20 - 29

30 - 39

40 - 49

50 - 59

60 - 69

70 - 79

80 - 89

Midpoint Number

x

f

5

15

25

35

45

55

65

75

85

Totals:

Estimated Mean =

20

21

23

16

11

10

7

3

1

112

3360

112

fx

100

315

575

560

495

550

455

225

85

3360

= 30

Median

The Median is the mean of the ages of the 56th and the 57th people, so is in the 20 - 29

group:

L = 20 (the lower class boundary of the class interval containing the median)

n = 112

cfb = 20 + 21 = 41

fm = 23

w = 10

Estimated Median = 20 +

(112/2) 41

23

10

= 20 + 6.52...

= 26.5 (to 1 decimal)

Mode

The Modal group is the one with the highest frequency, which is 20 - 29:

fm-1 = 21

fm = 23

fm+1 = 16

w = 10

Estimated Mode = 20 +

23 21

(23 21) + (23 16)

10

= 20 + 2.22...

= 22.2 (to 1 decimal)

Summary

For grouped data, we cannot find the exact Mean, Median and Mode, we can

only give estimates.

Estimated Median = L +

(n/2) cfb

fm

where:

cfb is the cumulative frequency of the groups before the median group

Estimated Mode = L +

fm fm-1

(fm fm-1) + (fm fm+1)

where:

For continuous data use limits (rather than boundaries) for median and mode

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