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Statistical Variation


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Overview

The center of a numerical data set summarizes all of the values with one number.
Mathematicians often use mean or median to calculate the center of their data set.

Mean Median
The mean is the average. The median is the middle value.
Add all of the numbers in a data
set and then divide the sum by the
total number of data points.
Order the numbers in a data set
from least to greatest. Identify the
number that falls in the middle.
data set: 6, 8, 6, 8, 7, 4, 3
6 + 8 + 6 + 8 + 7 + 4 + 3 = 42
42 ÷ 7 = 6
mean = 6
data set: 6, 8, 6, 8, 7, 4, 3
3, 4, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8
median = 6

The variation uses one number to describe how all of the values are different. The most basic measure of variation is range.

Range
The range is the difference between the highest and lowest value in a
data set.
Subtract the lowest value from the highest value.
6, 8, 6, 8, 7, 4, 3
8 – 3 = 5
range = 5
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Use the data set below to answer question.

75, 56, 77, 82, 90

Use mean to determine the center of the data set.

Use the data set below to answer question.

90, 92, 96, 95, 92

Use range to determine the variation of the data set.

Use the data set below to answer question.

90, 92, 96, 95, 92

Use median to determine the center of the data set.

Use the data set below to answer question.

90, 92, 96, 95, 92

Use mean to determine the center of the data set.

Use the data set below to answer question.

90, 92, 96, 95, 92

Why are the mean and median different?

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