I use three example data sets and distributions to show how the three measures of central tendency - mean, median, and mode - work in each situation.

In the first example, we cannot calculate the mean, but both median and mode work well to describe the distribution.

In the second, we have somewhat of a surprise perhaps...

In the third, both median and mean describe the central tendency of the distribution well.

And in the last situation (about income), the mean is "thrown off" by the large numbers in the data set, and thus it is the median that better describes the central tendency of the distribution.

This lesson addresses the common core standards 6.SP.3 and 6.SP.5.

Learn more 6th grade math with Math Mammoth Grade 6 Curriculum at http://www.mathmammoth.com/complete/grade_6.php

Tagged under: Arithmetic Mean (Literature Subject),Median (Literature Subject),Central Tendency,Statistics (Field Of Study),Mode (Literature Subject)

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