Median

The median is the value of the middle case in an ordered series. There are as many cases on the higher side as on the lower side. The measure offers the advantage of being unaffected by extreme cases at one end or the other. This again is a useful measure when examining ordinal data.

USING AVERAGES - MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY

The mean, median and mode should first be calculated. If the mean and median are about the same, the mean should be used since the former is the most generally understood. However, if the mean and median are greatly different, the median should probably be used, as it is likely to be a better measure.

Note that it is possible to have more than one modal value in a distribution.

Number of people living in 25 surveyed households

9

7

ó

4

a

8

7

ó

4

2

8

ó

ó

a

2

7

ó

5

a

i

7

ó

5

a

i

Mean B

Median ó

Mode ó

In marketing research we should use the mean or the median or both. Depending on the nature of the numerical distribution, these may or may not coincide. Taken together they provide a good indication of the average.

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