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Basic Statistical Concepts

# Basic Statistical Concepts - Basic Statistical Concepts A 1...

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Basic Statistical Concepts A. Measures of Central Tendency: Mean, Median, and Mode 1. Mean The mean, or average, is a number calculated by adding a series of values and then dividing by the number of values. For example, to find the mean of the numbers 5, 19, and 27, we add them and divide by the number of values (3). The mean would then be 17 (Schaefer & Lamm, 1992: 36). 2. Mode The mode is the single most common value in a series of scores. For example, if we were looking at the following scores on a ten-point quiz: 10, 10, 9, 9, 8, 8, 7, 7, 7, 6, 5, we would determine the mode by observing which score occurred most frequently. Now, the mode would be 7 (Schaefer & Lamm, 1992: 36). 3. Median The median is the midpoint or number that divides a series of values (which are ranked in ascending or descending order). For the quiz discussed above, the median is 8 (Schaefer & Lamm, 1992: 36). B. Rates & Percentages A percentage is a portion based on 100. Use of percentages allows one to compare groups of different sizes. Example: Comparing Populations of Different Sizes If we are comparing contributors to a town's Baptist and Roman Catholic churches, the absolute numbers of contributors could be misleading if there were many more Baptists than Catholics living in the town. With percentages, we can obtain a more meaningful comparison, showing the proportion of persons in each group who contribute to their respective churches (Schaefer & Lamm, 1992: 36). C. Statistical Control vs. Control Groups In a sociological sense, control means that you neutralize all social characteristics (variables) except that which is under consideration . This is different from a control

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Basic Statistical Concepts - Basic Statistical Concepts A 1...

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