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Video:What Are the Mean, Median, and Mode?

with David Knupp

It's easy to mix up the definitions of mean, median and mode, but it's important to differentiate them when working with statistics. Here's a quick guide to understanding the meaning of mean, median and mode.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Are the Mean, Median, and Mode?

Hey everyone, David Knupp here for About.com. An important part of knowing statistics is understanding how to find the mean, median, and mode of a set of numbers. When many people think of median, mean, and mode, they often think of averages, which is a good way to think of them. However, they all have different statistical values. Today, I'm going to show a little bit about mean, median and mode, using playing cards to demonstrate.

Definition of Mean

The mean is most commonly thought of as the average figure of a set of numbers. The easiest way to figure the mean is to take all of your numbers and add them all together, giving us 30. Next, divide the sum by how many numbers you started out with. In my case, I had 5 numbers, so I will divide the total by 5 to obtain the mean of the set of numbers, which is 6.

Definition of Median

The median is the number that falls directly in the middle of a set of numbers when ordered from smallest to largest. To find the median of a set of numbers, simply arrange the numbers in order from smallest to greatest. You then pick out the middle number. In this case, the median is 5. If you have an even amount of numbers, you again put the numbers in order from greatest to smallest, but then you add the two middle numbers and divide that value by 2. In this case, the median is 6.

Definition of Mode

The last term is the mode. To find the mode from a set of numbers, arrange them in order from smallest to largest and find the number that occurs the most in the sequence. If you have a set of numbers that does not have a reoccurring number, then it has no mode. It is also possible for a there to be multiple modes in a set if there are multiple groups of the same number in that set.

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