# Statistics: An Introduction to Quantitative Economic Research

By Daniel B. Suits | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
Summarizing a Large Quantity of Data: Statistics

The most important summary of a quantity of numerical data consists of the calculation of key numbers, called statistics, to describe its distribution. This chapter takes up the two most useful kinds of statistics: measures of central tendency and dispersion.

3.1 MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY

A statistic of central tendency, often called an average, is a single number used to represent the general magnitude of all items in a distribution. It is "typical" of the observed magnitudes. Three averages are in general use: the mode, the median, and the arithmetic mean. While these averages have important properties in common, they differ in many respects and involve different definitions of what is "typical." In selecting the average theoretically appropriate to any particular purpose this definition is the controlling factor.

3.1.1 The Mode (Mo)

The mode is the point in a frequency distribution at which the frequency density reaches a maximum. It takes as "typical" that value which occurs more frequently than any other single magnitude. The mode is, in a sense, the most "popular" value in the frequency distribution, and is clearly the average to use to express, say, the "typical" length of women's dresses. Indeed, the term "mode" is derived from the French word for "fashion." As a point of maximum density, the mode is sometimes used in the study of traffic congestion and peak loads on

-23-

If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

#### Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.
Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.
Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
• Saved book/article
• Highlights
• Quotes/citations
• Notes
• Bookmarks
Notes

#### Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

#### Cited page

Statistics: An Introduction to Quantitative Economic Research

Settings

#### Settings

Typeface
Text size Reset View mode
Search within

Look up

#### Look up a word

• Dictionary
• Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 260

## Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

## Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.