Lecture Delivered At The INTENSIVE COURSE FOR PART 1 & 2 CANDIDATES Organised By The FACULTY OF INTERNAL MEDICINE NATIONAL POSTGRADUATE

MEDICAL COLLEGE OF NIGERIA 20th – 25th February 2012 By DR. A.O. ABIOLA Department of Community Health & Primary Care College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi - Araba, Lagos
MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY DR.A.O. ABIOLA 1

BASIC STATISTICS (2) DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS - Measures of Central Tendency

INTRODUCTION
vTwo features of the data which characterize a distribution are measures of: 1. Location-central or non-central 2. Dispersion (Variation, Spread, Scatter) vMeasures of location consist of: ØCommon measures of central tendencyArithmetic mean, median, mode ØOther measures of central tendency-Weighted arithmetic mean, Geometric mean, Harmonic mean ØOther measures of location-Quartiles, Deciles, Percentiles
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COMMON MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY
vThe central tendency of a set of data is measured by the average. vThe word distribution, distributed. ‘average’ implies a value in around which other values the are

vIt gives a mental picture of the central value. vThere are several kinds of averages, of which the commonly used are ØThe Arithmetic Mean, ØThe Median and ØThe Mode.
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The Arithmetic Mean
vThe arithmetic mean of a group is the simple arithmetic average of the observations. vThis is calculated by dividing the total sum of all the observations by the number of observations. vIn the case of grouped data (frequency distribution), arithmetic mean is calculated assuming that each observation in a class interval is equal to the midpoint of that class interval.

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The Arithmetic Mean
vIn an ungrouped data, if x represents the character observed and n the number of observations, then all the observations in the data can be denoted as x1, x2, …….xn. The arithmetic mean is given by = x1 + x2 + ……xn = ∑xi n n where ∑ denotes summation of values (i.e. ∑xi = x1 + x2 + ……xn) vFor grouped data (frequency distribution) the arithmetic mean is given by = ∑fx = ∑fx ∑f n where f is the frequency, x the midpoint of the class interval and n the total number of observations.
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The Arithmetic Mean
Example 1: Calculate the arithmetic mean of the following serum albumin levels (g%) of 4 preschool children: 2.90, 3.75, 3.66, 3.57 Solution: The arithmetic mean, = ∑xi n
=

2.90+3.75+3.66+3.57 = 13.88 = 3.47 g % 4 4

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The Arithmetic Mean
Example 2: Calculate the arithmetic mean of protein intake of 40 families given below Protein intake/day (g) 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75-84 Total No. of families 3 4 10 11 8 3 1 40
7

MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY DR.A.O. ABIOLA

Solution: Class Interval (C.I) 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75-84 Total

The Arithmetic Mean
Frequency (f) 3 4 10 11 8 3 1 40 Mid-point of class interval (x) 19.5 29.5 39.5 49.5 59.5 69.5 79.5 fx

58.5 118 395 544.5 476 208.5 79.5 1880

Arithmetic mean, m = ∑fx = ∑fx ∑f n

MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY DR.A.O. ABIOLA

= 1880 = 47.0g 40
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The Arithmetic Mean
vThe arithmetic mean is sometimes simply called the mean or the average. vThe advantages of the mean are that it is easy to calculate and understand. vThe disadvantages are that: ØIt may be unduly influenced by abnormal values in the distribution. ØSometimes it may even look ridiculous; for instance, the average number of children born to a woman was found to be 3.72, which never occurs in reality. vNevertheless, the arithmetic mean is by far the most useful of the statistical averages.
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vThe kind, which does not depend upon the total sum and number of items. vTo obtain the median the data is first arranged in ascending or descending order of magnitude, and then the value of the middle observation is located, which is called the median. vIf there are even numbers of values, the median is worked out by taking the average of the two middle values. vThus, for (i) n odd, median = middle value (ii) n even, median = arithmetic mean of the middle two values
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The median median is an average of different

The median
Example 3: Find the median of the following 2, 1, 8, 7, 4, Solution 3: Array- 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 x(1) = 1, x(2) = 2, x(3) = 4, x(4) = 7, x(5) = 8 n = 5, odd

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Example 4: Find the median of following 2, 9, 1, 8,, 7, 4, Solution 4: Array- 1,2,4,7,8,9 x(1) = 1, x(2) = 2, x(3) = 4, x(4) = 7, x(5) = 8, x(6) = 9, n = 6, even median = arithmetic mean of middle two values

The median

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For a grouped data,

The median

Where, Li = True lower limit of median class r =No. of observations between the last cumulative frequency before median class and the median observation f = No of observations (frequency) of the median class Ui = True upper limit of median class The class interval that contains the median is called the median class.
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Example 5: Calculate the median of the data given below : Age Group 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 Frequency 5 19 10 13 4 4 2

The median

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Solution 5:
Age Group 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79

The median
Frequenc y 5 19 10 13 4 4 2 Cumulative frequency 5 24 34 47 51 55 57 ***********

Median class (*******)= 30 – 39; True limits of median class = 29.5 – 39.5; r = 29–24 = 5;

f = 10

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The median
vThe relative merits of median and mean may be examined from the following example: vThe income of seven (7) people per day in naira was : 5, 5,5,7,10,20,102, Total = 154 Mean = 154/7 = 22 Median = 7 vIn this example, the income of the seventh individual (102) has seriously affected the mean, whereas it has not affected the median. vIn an example of this kind median is more nearer the truth and therefore more representative than the mean.
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The mode
vThe Mode is the most frequent item or the most ‘fashionable’ value in a series of observations. vThe advantages of mode are that it is easy to understand and is not affected by the extreme items. vThe disadvantages are that the exact location is often uncertain and is often not clearly defined. Therefore, mode is not often used in biological or medical statistics.
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The mode
vThe distribution is unimodal if there is one maximum (peak). vIf we have a group of values such as 2,4,5,6,7, it is apparent that there is no mode. vFor a moderately asymmetric distribution, the mode can be calculated using the following empirical relationship: ØMode = 3 Median – 2 Mean

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The mode
For a grouped data,

Where Lm = True lower limit of modal class d1 = Frequency of modal class minus frequency of preceding class d2 = Frequency of modal class minus frequency of succeeding class Um = True upper limit of modal class

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The mode
Example 6: Calculate the mode of the data given below. Age Group 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 Frequency 5 19 10 13 4 4 2

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Solution 6: Age Group Frequency 10-19 5 20-29 19**** 30-39 10 40-49 13 50-59 4 60-69 4 70-79 2 modal class(*****) = 20-29 Lm = 19.5; Um = 29.5; d1= 19–5=14; d2=19 – 10= 9

The mode

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1.If the data are symmetrically distributed or are approximately symmetrical, any one of these measures may be used because in a symmetrical distribution all these measures give identical values.

SELECTION OF THE APPROPRIATE MEASURE OF CENTRAL TENDENCY

2.When the distribution of the observations is skewed, the arithmetic mean is usually not suitable. For positively skewed series, the mean gives a higher value than the other two measures; and for a negatively skewed series, a lower value. It may be preferable to use the median or the mode which is typical. 3.When there are some observations which relatively deviate much more than others in the series or when heterogeneity is suspected in the series, the median may be used, instead of the mean.
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SELECTION OF THE APPROPRIATE MEASURE OF CENTRAL TENDENCY
4. When subsequent computations involving a measure are necessary, the arithmetic mean has certain definite advantages.

5. When the concept of ‘relative’ standing of the individual observations in the group is considered, the use of the median is desirable; whereas the concept of ‘typical’ observation necessitates the use of the mode. Sometimes it may be advisable to use two or all these measures, since each measure embodies a different concept. The use of any two, mean and median, or mean and mode will give us an idea of the amount of skewness of the distribution of the MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY 23 DR.A.O. ABIOLA series.

EMPIRICAL RELATION BETWEEN MEAN, MEDIAN AND MODE
For a unimodal frequency distribution which is : vSymmetric, Ømean = median = mode vModerately skewed, Ømode = 3 median – 2 mean
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