Good Essay On Population Characteristics On When And When Not To Use The Mode, Mean And Median
Statistics has two branches, the Bayesian and the Frequentist branches. The frequentist side primary concern is the efficiency. However, in certain populations, the mean can be very sensitive to extreme data points. The mean is best applicable to populations where information is symmetrically distributed i.e. when the data is plotted on a chart; a nice symmetrical shape can be achieved. In some instances, the mean can be thrown out by extreme values especially when the data being represented is not symmetrically distributed. At such instances, the mean is not the best measure of central tendency to use in such a scenario but the median is preferred (Manikandan, 215). Although it contains lesser information on the population parameter, it is more stable in such instances. Thus, when the information being represented is not symmetrical, the median provides a better idea of any general tendency of the data.
An example is when calculating the average wage returns in the United States among 20 people who are randomly selected. In one year, by chance the data happens to include that of Bill Gates or any other famous celebrity. In such an instance, the mean will be strongly impacted and will not be the best option to use the median rather will be the most suitable. The median should, therefore; be used when the population distribution is skewed while the mean and median can be used where the population is symmetrical, and they will produce similar accurate results. The mode is the most frequent data and is never affected by any circumstances thus; it can be used for any statistical analysis. At times, it can be seen in distributions without any defined mean but it is nearly ancillary (Gonzales and Ottenbacher, 143).
Gonzales, V A, and K J Ottenbacher. “Measures of Central Tendency in Rehabilitation Research: What Do They Mean?” American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation / Association of Academic Physiatrists 80 (2001): 141–146. Web.
Manikandan, S. “Measures of Central Tendency: Median and Mode.” Journal of pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics 2 (2011): 214–215. Web.