MAT232DiscussionsWeek 3 – Discussion Forum

Week 3 – Discussion Forum

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Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Measures of Central Tendency [WLOs: 1, 2, 3] [CLO: 3]

Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, view the video, When Should You Use a Mean and When Should You Use a Median? by clicking the image below.

When Should you use the Mean and When Should you use the Median Image.png


This video focuses on when to use a mean and when to use a median. When data all have similar values, such as housing prices of similar-sized houses on the same block, then the mean is an appropriate measure, but if the value of one residence is 50 times as high as the others, then the median gives a better description of a typical value than the mean.

However, you want to get away from the idea that the data, and only the data, drives the choice of descriptive statistics. The example is given that, if you wanted to buy all the houses in Brooklyn, if you took the median, and multiplied by the number of houses, you wouldn’t have enough cash. So, the median is a useful descriptive statistic, but the mean is essential for planning and making decisions.

Respond to one of the following options in your initial post, citing at least one specific credible source in support. Question on credible sources? See the Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.).


Option 1: Find an article that mentions a new drug that promises an improved survival rate.

  • Identify whether this rate represents the mean or the median of the data set.
  • Assess whether that is ideally what you’d want to know for this data.
  • Provide a specific reason for your answer.

Option 2: For this option, consider a normal distribution.

  • Decide whether you should use the median or mean to best describe the data set.
  • Determine whether the standard deviation or the interquartile range are relevant factors.
  • Briefly discuss in the context of a specific example.

Option 3: Respond to the following questions.

  • If the median house price is $1.9 million, does that necessarily mean that half of the houses on the block are worth less than $1.9 million and half are worth more?
  • How do ties figure in?
  • Give an example that includes 8 to 12 data points.

Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length.


Guided Response: Due by Day 7. Respond to two classmates (at least one who selected a different option than you) by providing additional examples or support for their argument. Your response must be substantive and demonstrate your statistics knowledge. You are expected to participate by actively engaging in weekly discussion forums.