*PUB 550 The mean, median, and mode are measures of central tendency*

PUB 550 The mean, median, and mode are measures of central tendency

The central location within a set of data is identified by a single number that serves as a measure of central tendency, which aims to describe the set of data. The term “measures of central location” is occasionally used to refer to measurements of central tendency. The term “summary statistics” also applies to them. There are other measures of central tendency than the mean (also known as the average), such as the median and the mode. However, the mean (also known as the average) is probably the one you are most familiar with. The mean, median, and mode are all acceptable measures of central tendency, but in some situations, one measure of central tendency is more useful than another. The mean, median, and method of calculation are discussed in the sections that follow.

In order to answer important public health issues and eventually enhance health and reduce illness, these statistical methods are ultimately used to define health situations, events, or behaviors in our communities. In addition to the average or mean, summary measurements may also contain the median and the mode. Because the same summary measures may be used to describe quite distinct data sets, it is crucial to examine summary measures in conjunction with the whole data set in order to fully comprehend our data.

### Reference:

Measures of Central Tendency.(2018). Lund Research Ltd. Retrieved from:

https://statistics.laerd.com/index.php

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). *Principles of Epidemiology*. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson2/summary.html#:~:text=The%20arithmetic%20mean%20represents%20the,peak%20or%20most%20prevalent%20value.

Central tendency tells the typical or average score in a set, including the three most common measurements: mean, median, and mode (Cory, 2016). The mean is known as the average. The mean is the sum of all the values in a set of data divided by the number of cases (Cory, 2016). The Median is the middle number. The Median focuses on the direction (more/less) and ignores information about the distance between the numbers (Cory, 2016). The mode is the score that occurs with the same frequency (Cory, 2016). The mode is the value that is the most common in the data.

The mode, median, and mean are crucial to public health data analysis because they present data in different directions. The mode can be helpful when one is interested in the most common value or popular choice (CDC, 2012). Epidemiologists use the mode to determine public opinion and get feedback on what intervention is more effective. The mean is used to provide data on the average of individuals affected by an outbreak. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mean changes based on the high or low of new cases. The median is not affected by high or low. Many epidemiologists routinely present the median for incubation periods, illness duration, and study subjects’ age (CDC, 2012).

### Reference

Corty, E. (2016). Using and interpreting statistics: A practical text for the behavioral, social, and health sciences (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Macmillan Learning.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, May 18). *Principles of Epidemiology*. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson2/summary.html#:~:text=The%20arithmetic%20mean%20represents%20the,peak%20or%20most%20prevalent%20value.

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A measure of central tendency is a single value that attempts to describe a set of data by identifying the central

position within that set of data. It is also defined as “the statistical measure that identifies a single value as representative of an entire distribution, according to the NIH. A single number that seeks to represent a collection of data by identifying the central location within that set of data is referred to as a measure of central tendency. As a consequence, measurements of central tendency are often known as measures of the central position. They’re classified as summary statistics as well. The mean (also known as the average) is the most used measure of central tendency, although there are others as well, such as the median and the mode.

The mean, median, and mode are all legitimate measures of central tendency, although certain measures of central tendency are more appropriate to employ than others depending on the circumstances.

Measures of tendency are critical in the public health sector because they can assist in finding a representative value of distribution by condensing data and making comparisons that can ultimately lead to decision-making processes. These processes affect public health policies and decisions that are made regarding various aspects of public health. Public health along with medical research is dependent on these data to be able to understand large data and information that are being collected, consequently because these values can occur again and again in medical research. A great example occurs in disease research when collecting data related to a certain that is being investigated. As a result, data that are being collected can be utilized in various ways, from vaccine development to policies that can affect the public in general, to preventative medicine. You cannot understand, let alone critically evaluate medical research studies unless you understand the appropriate usage of such measures.

### References

Corty, E. W. (2016). *Using and interpreting statistics* (3rd ed.). Worth Publishers.

Manikandan S. Measures of central tendency: The mean. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2011 Apr;2(2):140-2. doi: 10.4103/0976-500X.81920. PMID: 21772786; PMCID: PMC3127352.

“Central tendency is defined as “the statistical measure that identifies a single value as representative of an entire distribution.” It aims to provide an accurate description of the entire data. It is the single value that is most typical/representative of the collected data.”(Manikandan, 2011) Mode: the most frequent value. Median: the middle number in an ordered dataset. Mean: the sum of all values divided by the total number of values. Mean is the one most commonly used to measure central tendency. “The arithmetic mean represents the balance point for all the data. The median represents the middle of the data, with half the observed values below the median and half the observed values above it. The mode represents the peak or most prevalent value.”(CDC, 2012)

### References:

Manikandan S. Measures of central tendency: The mean. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2011 Apr;2(2):140-2. doi: 10.4103/0976-500X.81920. PMID: 21772786; PMCID: PMC3127352.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, May 18). *Principles of Epidemiology*. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson2/summary.html#:~:text=The%20arithmetic%20mean%20represents%20the,peak%20or%20most%20prevalent%20value.

Central tendency is described as a single value that is utilized to represent the common score in a set of score (Cory, 2016). It determines the central position within the set of data. The common valid measures of central tendency are mean, median, and mode but depending of the conditions some measures of central tendency are more fitting to use than the others (Leard Statistics, n.d.). The mean or also known as average is the popular measure of central tendency which is the sum of all the values in the data set divided by the number of values in the data set (Leard Statistics, n.d.). The median is the described as the middle score for set of data which was arranged from order of measures (Leard Statistics, n.d.). It is also known as the middle mark but in case there are even number of scores, the median will be identified by taking the average of the two middle scores. The mode is the repeated score in set of data. It is usually used in categorical data to determine the common category.

Application of these measure is critical to public health and healthcare due to its use in data reporting required by governing or regulatory bodies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and The Joint Commission (Missouri Hospital Association, 2016). It can also provide information needed to identify the performance of health policies and health outcomes. Lastly, it is helpful in providing data to conduct public health research that will improve the health of the population.

### Reference

Corty, E. (2016). Using and interpreting statistics: A practical text for the behavioral, social, and health sciences (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Macmillan Learning.

Laerd Statistics. (n.d.). Measures of central tendency. Retrieved from https://statistics.laerd.com/statistical-guides/measures-central-tendency-mean-mode-median.php

Missouri Hospital Association. (2016). Quality Resource Brief: Using Data to Drive Improvement. Retrieved from https://www.mhanet.com/mhaimages/sqi/brief/issue%20brief_usingdata_416.pdf