AS Psychology Measure of central tendency/dispersion notes (Research Methods)

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Types of Measure of Central Tendency/Dispersion (Research Methods)

Mean - A measure of central tendency. The sum of all the values divided by the number of values that there were.

Advantages of Mean:

  • It uses all the scores in a data set.
  • It's used in further calculations (e.g. standard deviation), and so it's handy to work out.

Disadvantages of Mean:

  • It can be skewed (distorted) by extremely high or low scores. This can make it unrepresentative of most of the scores, and so it may be misleading. In these cases, it's not best to use the mean.
  • It can sometimes give an unrealistically precise value.

Median - A measure of central tendency.When the data are put in order, smallest value to larger value, or largest to smallest, the median is the `central number` if there are an odd number of values.If there are an `even` number of values than the median is the mean of the two numbers in the middle.

Advantages of Median:

  • It's relatively quick and easy to calculate
  • It's not affected by extremely high or low scores, so it can be used on skewed sets of…


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