Assignment: Measures of Central Tendency and Variability
Last week, you learned how to summarize a distribution by using frequency distribution tables and various graphs. The shape the frequency distribution forms is important, but frequency tables and graphs are not always the most efficient or meaningful way to summarize large amounts of data. In addition to graphing the shape of the distribution, statistics can be computed to provide even more information about the scores. Measures of central tendency tell us how the scores in the data set “hang together.” What score or scores are “typical” for the data set? Measures of variability help us understand how scores are spread out. How big are the distances between scores? Computing measures of central tendency, such as the mean, median, and mode, and measures of variability, such as the range and standard deviation, is often the first step researchers take after collecting data for a study.
This application will allow you to practice computing and interpreting some common measures of central tendency and measures of variability, both by hand and with the statistical software package SPSS. Download the data set that you will use for this assignment from the Weekly Data Set forum. Be sure to watch this week’s instructional video in the introduction or Learning Resources folder before beginning your Application Assignment.
Scenario: Imagine that your employer is hosting a walking competition. Employees are to report the number of minutes they walk each week. Your employer has asked you to compute descriptive statistics on the data from the first week of the competition to help him know how much people are walking.
You can find the data for this Assignment in the Weekly Data Set forum.
To complete this Assignment, submit by Day 7 calculations of the following measures of central tendency and measures of variability by hand:
By Day 7
To complete this Assignment, submit calculations of the following measures of central tendency and measures of variability by hand:
For each measure you compute by hand, include an explanation of:
For example, each of your answers might look something like this: “The mean of this sample is ______ minutes walked in the first week. The mean is calculated by _________________. The mean tells me that participants in the sample walked ____________ in the first week.”
Write your responses in your own words. It is acceptable to number your answers, but do not copy and paste the questions into your answer document.
Be sure to fully explain the rationale for your answer to each question, including evidence from the text and learning resources.
Provide an APA reference list.
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