1

INCREASING AND DECREASING FUNCTIONS
A function f is increasing on an interval if
for any two numbers
2 1
x and x
in the
interval,
2 1
x x
implies
) x ( f ) x ( f
2 1
·
.
A function f is decreasing on an interval if
for any two numbers
2 1
x and x
in the
interval,
2 1
x x ·
implies
) x ( f ) x ( f
2 1
>
.
2
TEST FOR INCREASING
AND DECREASING FUNCTIONS
Let f be a function that is continuous on the
closed interval [a, b] and differentiable on the
open interval (a, b).
1. If
0 ) ( "
d
x f
for all x in (a, b), then f is
increasing on [a, b]
2. If
0 ) (
d
x f
for all x in (a, b), then f is
decreasing on [a, b]
3. If
0 ) ( =
d
x f
for all x in (a, b), then f is
constant on [a, b]
3
EXAMPLE 1:
Find the open intervals on which
2
2
3
3
) ( x x x f =
is
increasing or decreasing.
2
2
3
3
) ( x x x f =

) 1 ( 3 3 3 ) (
2
= =
d
x x x x x f

0 ) 1 ( 3 = x x

Critical Numbers:
0 , 1 or x =

Test each interval for slope on an
f d
number line « select a
³reasonable´ number in (a, b) « actually if you use any
number in the factored form of
f '
± it¶ll work great!!!
Test for
) 0 , ( ·
«
6 ) 1 ( 3 ) 1 ( 3 ) 1 (
2
= =
'
f

Test for
) 1 , 0 (
«
75 . ) 5 (. 3 ) 5 (. 3 ) 5 (.
2
= =
d
f

Test for
) , 1 ( ·
«
6 ) 2 ( 3 ) 2 ( 3 ) 2 (
2
= =
d
f

Increasing Intervals:
) 0 , (
;
) , 1 (

Decreasing Interval:
) 1 , 0 (

0
f
'

1
positive negative positive
0
0
f
I like the
factored form a
lot better. It
makes me smile!
4
THE FIRST DERIVATIVE TEST
Let c be a critical number of a function that is continuous on
an open interval containing c. If f is differentiable on the
interval, except possibly at c, then f(c) can be classified as
follows:
1. If
) (x f '
changes from negative to positive at c,
then
) (c f
is a relative minimum of f.
2. If
) (x f d
changes from positive to negative at c,
then
) (c f
is a relative maximum of f.
Translated for the unsophisticated neophyte:
1. Find the critical number(s) « the x value(s)
where
0 ) ( !
'
x f
or
) (x f '
is undefined.
2. Set up an
f
'
number line, with CN¶s marked «
as well as with any domain restrictions on it
3. Test each interval for if it yields a positive or
negative
f
'
value.
4. Depending on the switch, when it occurs, it will
be a relative max or min.
5. POSNEG: MAX « NEGPOS: MIN
6. If no switch in
f
'
occurs, then there is not a
relative extremum there.
5
3
T
f
d

positive
negative
3
5T
[
2T
0
]
negative
0
0
f
EXAMPLE 2:
Find the relative extrema of the function:
x x x f sin
2
1
) ( =
in the
interval
´ ) T 2 , 0
.
x x x f sin
2
1
) ( !

x x f cos
2
1
) ( !
'

x cos
2
1
0 !


2
1
cos ! x
@CNs at
3
5
,
3
or x !

Test for
¹
º
¸
©
ª
¨
3
, 0
T
«
207 . ) cos(
2
1
) (
4 4
< =
d
T T
f

Test for
¹
º
¸
©
ª
¨
3
5
,
3
T T
«
5 . 1 ) cos(
2
1
) ( ! !
'
T T f

Test for
¹
º
¸
©
ª
¨
T
T
2 ,
3
5
«
207 . ) cos(
2
1
) (
4
7
4
7
} !
'
T T
f

Relative Minimum: ¹
¹
º
¸
©
©
ª
¨

2
3
6
,
3
T T

Relative Maximum: ¹
¹
º
¸
©
©
ª
¨

2
3
6
5
,
3
5 T T

Can you draw a graph in the end???
6
EXAMPLE 3:
Find the relative extrema of the function:
3
2
) 4 ( ) (
2
= x x f

3
2
) 4 ( ) (
2
= x x f

) 2 ( ) 4 ( ) (
3
1
2
3
2
x x x f

!
'


3 2
4 3
4
) (

=
d
x
x
x f
@CNs at
2 , 0 s = or x

Test for
) 2 , ( ·
«
neg
pos
neg
f = =

=
d
3
2
4 ) 3 ( 3
) 3 ( 4
) 3 (

Test for
) 0 , 2 (
«
pos
neg
neg
f ! !

!
'
3
2
4 ) 1 ( 3
) 1 ( 4
) 1 (

Test for
) 2 , 0 (
«
neg
neg
pos
f ! !

!
'
3
2
4 ) 1 ( 3
) 1 ( 4
) 1 (

Test for
) , 2 ( ·
«
pos
pos
pos
f ! !

! '
3
2
4 ) 3 ( 3
) 3 ( 4
) 3 (

Relative Minima:
) 0 , 2 (
;
) 0 , 2 (

Relative Maximum:
) 16 , 0 (
3

How about a shot at drawing the graph now « think « plot
strategic points « examine the slopes there « and intervals
f
'

positive negative
negative
positive
0
2 -2
0
ˆ ˆ
f

7
EXAMPLE 4:
Find the relative extrema of the function:
2
4
1
) (
x
x
x f

=

2 2
2
4
1
) (

=

= x x
x
x
x f

3
3
2
2 2 2 ) (
x
x x x x f = = d


0
) 1 )( 1 )( 1 ( 2 2 2 2
) 2 (
2
2
3
2
3
4
3 3
3
3
=

=

= =
x
x x x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x

@CNs at
1 s = x
Note: Although x = 0 is a value which makes
f d
undefined, it is NOT technically a CN « why is this so?
Nevertheless, this discontinuity value DOES NEED to be included
on the
f d
number line AS WELL to create the test intervals.
neg
neg
pos
f = =

= d
3
4
) 2 (
2 ) 2 ( 2
) 2 (

pos
neg
neg
f = =

= d
3
4
) 5 . (
2 ) 5 . ( 2
) 5 . (

neg
pos
neg
f = =

= d
3
4
) 5 (.
2 ) 5 (. 2
) 5 (.

pos
pos
pos
f = =

= d
3
4
) 2 (
2 ) 2 ( 2
) 2 (

Relative Minima:
) 2 , 1 (
;
) 2 , 1 (

Why is there not a relative maximum at x = 0 ???
And then « THE GRAPH!!! Careful about that x = 0??? What IS
in fact there??? What specifically do we get when it is plugged in?
f

f
d
0 1
positive negative negative
-1
positive 0 0 ˆ

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