Advantages of median, Applied Statistics


  1. It is especially useful in case of open-end classes since only the position and not the values of items must be known. The median is also recommended if the distribution has unequal classes, since it is easier to compute than the mean.
  2. It is not influenced by the magnitude of extreme deviations from it. For example, the median of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 150 would be 30 whereas the mean is 50. Hence very often when extreme values are present in a set of observations, the median is a more satisfactory measure of the central tendency than the mean.
  3. In markedly skewed distributions such as income distributions or price distributions where the arithmetic mean would be distorted by extreme values, the median is especially useful. Consequently, the median income for some purposes can be regarded as a more representative figure, for half the income earners must be receiving at least the median income.
  4. It is the most appropriate average in dealing with qualitative data, i.e. where ranks are given or there are other types of items that are not counted or measured, but are scored.
  5. The value of median can be determined graphically, whereas the value of mean cannot be graphically ascertained.
  6. Perhaps the greatest advantage of median is, however, the fact that the median actually does indicate what many people incorrectly believe the arithmetic mean indicates. The median indicates the value of the middle item in the distribution. This is a clear-cut meaning and makes the median a measure that can be easily explained.

Posted Date: 9/14/2012 2:07:47 AM | Location : United States

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