Biostatistics Discussion Response
Note to writer
The original assignment asked:
– What is mean, median, and mode in central tendency?
– List an example of a type of result where one might prefer to use median or mode, instead of the more commonly used “mean.”
Reply to this discussion on Central Tendency (250-275 words, APA format, scholarly source)
From what I have gathered from the reading is that the mean is the average of components, meaning when all elements are added and divided by the number of given elements, one can conclude that the number given will result in the mean (Joseph, 2014). The median is simply the middle number of a set of data (Joseph, 2014). For example, if there are three numbers in a set of data, the median will be the number that falls between the first and last number. However, if there are four numbers in a set of data, the average of the two middle numbers will be the median. The mode of a data set will be the number that occurs the most frequently (Joseph, 2014). According to Lake Tahoe Community College (n.d.), “if there is one outcome that is very far from the rest of the data, then the mean will be strongly affected by this outcome.” Meaning that the mean will be more sensitive to outliers. Examples of occasions that would be more appropriate to use the median as opposed the mean when reporting on disease prevalence would be for periods of incubation, duration of illness, and age (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012).
The simultaneous use of each concept is required in order to most accurately depict a set of data (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). An example where one may prefer to use the mode over the median is maybe when calibrating an instrument to a specific temperature. When considering a group of people and their body temperatures, the normal range for a specific test could be calibrated to a body temperature that occurred the most among the people.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health Practice, Third Edition: An Introduction to Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson2/section8.html
Joseph, L. (2014). Statistics formula: Mean, median, mode, and standard deviation. Retrieved from https://blog.udemy.com/statistics-formula/
Lake Tahoe Community College (n.d.). Mean, mode, median, and standard deviation. Retrieved from http://www.ltcconline.net/greenl/courses/201/descstat/mean.htm