central tendency (measures of)
Any elementary statistical textbook will supply formulae for the calculation of measures of central tendency. The following examples may help to illustrate the principles outlined above. If, for example, a poll of voters in a small town suggests that 40 per cent will vote Republican, 35 per cent will vote Democrat, while 25 per cent will not vote at all, then we may say that the typical voter among these townspeople is a Republican. This is the category which has the largest representation—the mode. (A distribution with two modal categories is termed bimodal.) By comparison, the median value in a series is the middle case; or, more precisely, the point which neither exceeds nor is exceeded by more than 50 per cent of the total observations. For example, a number of students might be tested in an examination and receive the following grades: Joan—B, Bill—C, James—D, Brett—F, Joyce—F. In this distribution, the middle case is James, since he has two students ranking above and two below him. The median mark is therefore D. The mean is the measurement of central tendency most people have in mind when they talk about ‘the average’. For example, we may record the number of times a particular university professor at his or her desk is interrupted by telephone calls each day for a week, and obtain the following data: Monday = 4, Tuesday = 6, Wednesday = 4, Thursday = 4, Friday = 2, Saturday = 4. The average number of interruptions per day is therefore 24 (total number of scores in the set) divided by 6 (the number of cases)—giving a mean of 4 calls each day. See also SKEWNESS.
"central tendency (measures of)." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 19, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/central-tendency-measures
"central tendency (measures of)." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved December 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/central-tendency-measures
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.