# chapter 2 - spreadorvariability Themean ways.,andthe...

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A numerical summary of a  distribution  should report at least its  center  and its  spread  or  variability. The  mean    and the  median   M  describe the center of a  distribution  in different  ways. The  mean  is the arithmetic average of the observations, and the  median  is  the midpoint of the values. When you use the  median  to indicate the center of the  distribution , describe its  spread by giving the  quartiles .  The  first  quartile   Q 1  has one-fourth of the  observations below it, and the  third  quartile   Q 1  has three-fourths of the  observations below it. The  five-number summary  consisting of the  median , the  quartiles , and the  smallest and largest  individual  observations provides a quick overall description  of a  distribution . The  median  describes the center, and the  quartiles  and  extremes show the spread.

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