# Answer to Question #12833 in Statistics and Probability for Dornesa

Question #12833

Identify the circumstances in which the median rather than the mean is the preferred measure of central tendency

Expert's answer

As measures of central tendency, the mean and the median each have advantages and disadvantages. The median may be a better indicator of the most typical value if a set of scores has an outlier(an outlier is an extreme value that differs greatly from other values). For this reason, the median often is used when there are a few extreme values that could greatly influence the mean and distort what might be considered typical. This often is the case with home prices and with income data for a group of people, which often is very skewed. For such data, the median often is reported instead of the mean. For example, in a group of people,

if the salary of one person is 10 times the mean, the mean salary of the group will be higher because of the unusually large salary. In this case, the median may better represent the typical salary level of the group.

if the salary of one person is 10 times the mean, the mean salary of the group will be higher because of the unusually large salary. In this case, the median may better represent the typical salary level of the group.

## Comments

Assignment Expert29.09.14, 17:27Dear Mike. Thank you for adding information. As to your comment, we can add that median, instead of mean, is recommended statistic for skewed distribution, open-ended category (categories), ordinal scale data. Both median and mean are recommended statistics for interval and ratio scale data. Neither mean nor median are recommended statistics for nominal scale data. We use mode as measure of central tendency for nominal scale data.

Mike28.09.14, 22:40Yes but under what circumstances

Ordinal Scale, Large mean, undetermined scores, large variance,open-ended distributions, nominal scale, normal scale, skewed distribution

for those of use just looking to get through basic statistics classes its sometimes better to know the foundation and then learn the real work practicality.

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