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491

INVESTIGATION

**MERITS OF THE MEAN AND MEDIAN
**

TI C

STATISTICS PACKAGE

Recall the data gained from Norm Gregory while he was here for the golf championship. The data was as follows: 244:6 253:9 262:9 265:5

What to do:

245:1 254:5 272:9 265:6

248:0 254:6 263:1 266:5

248:8 270:7 263:2 267:4

250:0 255:9 264:3 269:7

270:5 251:1 251:2 257:0 260:6 262:8 264:4 265:0 275:6 277:5

1 Enter the data as a List into a graphics calculator or use the statistics package supplied. a Produce a histogram of the data. Set the X values from 240 to 280 with an increment of 5. Set the Y values from 0 to 30. b Comment on the shape of the distribution. c Find i the median ii the mean d Compare the mean and the median. Is the mean an accurate measure of the centre? 2 Since we have continuous numerical data, we have a modal class rather than an individual mode. a What is the modal class? b What would the modal class be if our intervals were 2 m starting at 240 m? 3 Now suppose Norm had hit a few very bad drives. Let us say that his three shortest drives were very short! a Change the three shortest drives to 82:1 m, 103:2 m and 111:1 m. b Repeat 1 a, b, c and d but set the X values from 75 to 300 with an increment of 25 for the histogram. c Describe the distribution as symmetric, positively skewed, or negatively skewed. What effect have the changed values had on the mean and median as measures of the centre of the data? 4 What would have happened if Norm had hit a few really long balls in addition to the very bad ones? Let us imagine that the longest balls he hit were very long. a Change the three longest drives to 403:9 m, 415:5 m and 420:0 m. b Repeat 1 a, b, c and d but set the X values from 50 to 450 with an increment of 50 for the histogram. c Describe the distribution as symmetric, positively skewed, or negatively skewed. What effect have the changed values had on the mean and median as measures of the centre of the data?

While collecting the data from Norm, I decided to have a hit as well. I hit 30 golf balls with my driver. The relative frequency histogram reveals the results below. The relative frequency 0.4 distribution is clearly positively skewed. median The mean would not be a good measure of the centre of this distribution due to the few higher scores. Indeed the mean is 163:66 m compared to the median of 157:50 m.

0.2 mean

140 150

160 170 180

190 200 210 distance (m)

492

DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS (Chapter 17)

UNGROUPED DATA

Example 2

The number of trucks using a road over a 13-day period is : 4 6 3 2 7 8 3 5 5 7 6 6 4. For this data set, find: a the mean b the median c the mode.

a

mean =

4+6+3+2+7+8+3+5+5+7+6+6+4 13 + 5:08 trucks

**sum of the data 13 data values
**

n+1 2

b c

The ordered data set is: 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 6 7 7 8 ) median = 5 trucks

fas n = 13,

= 7g

6 is the score which occurs the most often ) mode = 6 trucks

For the truck data of Example 2, how are the measures of the middle affected if on the 14th day the number of trucks was 7? We expect the mean to rise as the new data value is greater than the old mean. In fact, the new mean = 73 66 + 7 = ¼ 5:21 trucks 14 14

The new ordered data set would be: ) median = 5+6 = 5:5 trucks 2

**2 3 3 4 4 5 |{z} 56 667778 two middle scores
**

fas n = 14,

n+1 2

= 7:5g

This new data set has two modes. The modes are 6 and 7 trucks and we say that the data set is bimodal. Note: ² If a data set has three or more modes, we do not use the mode as a measure of the middle. ² Consider the data: 4 2 5 6 7 4 5 3 5 4 7 6 3 5 8 6 5. The dot plot of this data is:

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

For this data the mean, median and mode are all 5. Equal values (or approximately equal values) of the mean, mode and median can indicate a symmetrical distribution of data.

Example 3

The mean of five scores is 12:2 . What is the sum of the scores? sum of scores = 12:2 5 ) sum of scores = 12:2 £ 5 = 61 The sum of the scores is 61.

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