What is the difference between mean, median and mode?


Quick Answer

The mean, median and mode are different methods to determine the average of a set of integers. Though all three methods are used to compute an average, each result could differ.

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What is the difference between mean, median and mode?
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Full Answer

The mean is the typical average that is commonly used in everyday language. It is computed by adding up all the integers in a set, then dividing the sum by the total number of integers in the set. For instance, if the set was made up of {1,4,7}, The average is 4 or (1+4+7)/3.

The median is determined by listing the integers in numerical order, and then finding the middle integer. If the set of integers is even, the two middle integers are summed together and divided by two. For example, the set of {1,5,7,2,4} would be rewritten as {1,2,4,5,7}. The middle integer is 4, so in turn the median is 4.

The mode is determined by the most repeating integers in the set. If there are not any integers that repeat then there is not a mode. There is also the possibility for a set to contain multiple modes. For example, the set {1,2,4,4,4,5,5,} has a mode of 4 and the list of {1,2,2,3,3,4} has a mode of 2 and 3.

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