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Measures of Central

Tendency

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Measures of Central Tendency

A measure of central tendency is a single


number used to represent the center of a
group of data.
Different variables may possess different
numerical characteristics. So different measures
of central tendency may better summarize the
variable. The basic measures are the:

mean
median
mode
Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant
professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Measures of Central Tendency


The choice of which measure to use depends on:
the shape of the distribution (whether normal or
skewed), and
the variables level of measurement (data are
nominal, ordinal or interval).

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Appropriate Measures of Central


Tendency

Nominal variables:

Mode

Ordinal variables:

Median

Interval level variables:


Mean
- If the distribution is normal (median
is better with skewed distribution)

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Mean:

Mean are of three types viz.

Arithmetic mean (AM),


Geometric Mean (GM) and
Harmonic Mean (HM).

Of these, AM is the one which is most widely


used in Public Health and Medicine

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Mean
Arithmetic Mean (AM)
Most Common Measure
Sum of all values/ No. of values
1
Symbolically, X
X
N
It may be noted that unless otherwise specified,
`mean indicates Arithmetic Mean.
Acts as Balance Point
Affected by Extreme Values (Outliers)
Formula (Sample Mean)
n
N

i 1

Xi
i 1
1

X1 X 2 X n

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Mean Example

Raw Data:10.34.9 8.9 11.7 6.3 7.7


n

Xi
i 1
n

10.3 4.9 8.9 11.7 6.3 7.7

6
8.30

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Measure of central tendency


The weighted mean
Group A:
n=12x 6
Group B:
n=8x 7
72 56
Weighted meanX=
1 X 2
=
12

8
n1 n2
6.4

Seriously sensitive to extreme scores.

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Sensitivity to Outliers

Incomes in Private Chamber, Dhaka (population


=5)
Person

Income
(BTK)

Dabir

5,467,220

Sabir

24,780

Kabir

24,100

Khabir

19,500

Jabir

19,400

Mean

1,111,000
Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant
professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Which Measure is Better?

In the above example, the mean is BTK


1,111,000, the median is BTK 24,100.
Which measure is better?

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Median

Measure of Central Tendency

Middle Value In Ordered Sequence


If Odd n, Middle Value of Sequence
If Even n, Average of 2 Middle Values

Not Affected by Extreme Values

Position of Median in Sequence

n 1
Positioning point
2
Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant
professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Median Example
Odd-Sized Sample

Raw Data:

Ordered:
Position:

24.1 22.6 21.5 23.722.6

21.5
1

22.6
2

22.6
3

23.7 24.1
4

5
n +1
Positioning Point
+1 3
2
2
Median = 22.6
Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant
professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Median Example
Even-Sized Sample

Raw Data:10.34.9 8.9 11.7 6.3 7.7

Ordered:
Position:

4.9 6.3 7.7 8.9 10.3 11.7


1
2
3
4
5
6

Positioning point

n +1
2

7.7 + 8.9
Median
= 8.3
2
Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant
professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

6 +1
2

3.5

The Mode

The mode is the:


most frequently occurring value in a group
or raw scores
value of the group that contains the most
cases in grouped data
Measure of Central Tendency
Value That Occurs Most Often
Not Affected by Extreme Values
May Be Used for Numerical & Categorical
Data
Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant
professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

The ModeExample

Frequency Distribution
of Race in the 2000
General Social
Survey

Race

White

2,244

Black

404

Other

170

Total

2,817

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Measure of central tendency

Central tendency and the shape of the


distribution

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Skewness and Sample Distributions


Not all curves are normal, even if still bell-shaped

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

The Theoretical Normal


Curve

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Properties of the Normal


Also called Bell Curve or Gaussian Curve
Curve:

Symmetrical
Unimodal
The mean of a distribution is the midpoint
of the curve
The tails of the curve are infinite
Its Mean, Median and Mode will coincide
The area under the curve is measured in
standard deviations from the mean
Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant
professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

Properties (cont.)

Has a mean = 0 and standard deviation = 1.


General relationships:
1 s = about 68.26%
2 s = about 95.44%
3 s = about 99.72%

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

68-95-99.7 Rule

68% of
the data
95% of the data
99.7% of the data
Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant
professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

How good is rule for real data?

Check some example data:


N=120
The mean of the weight of the women = 127.8
The standard deviation (SD) = 15.5

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

68% of 120 = .68x120 = ~ 82 runners


In fact, 79 runners fall within 1-SD (15.5 lbs)
of the mean.

112.3

127.8

143.3

25

20
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15

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0
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120

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POUNDS

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

150

160

95% of 120 = .95 x 120 = ~ 114


runners
In fact, 115 runners fall within 2-SDs
of the mean.

96.8

127.8

158.8

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POUNDS

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

150

160

99.7% of 120 = .997 x 120 = 119.6


runners

81.3

In fact, all 120 runners fall within 3-SDs


of the mean.

127.8

174.3

25

20
P
e
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15

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0
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POUNDS

Dr. Md. Atiqul Haque, Assistant


professor, Dept. PHI, BSMMU

150

160