What is the Mean?
What is the Mean
The ‘Mean’ is one term that you have to get accustomed to if you are destined to be involved in math. From school till college, this is one thing that is bound to give you a visit from time to time every year. So, it goes without saying that it is absolutely essential to master the question ‘what is the mean?’
The mean, or to be more precise, the arithmetic mean is quite simply the average value of a set of numbers. You can easily find the mean by calculating the sum of all the values in the given sample and divide the resulting sum by the total number of values in the above mentioned sample. Now, let us assume that we have been given a set of 7 numbers, say 2, 3, 5, 7, 1 and 10. As we had established beforehand, the first thing that we need to do is to calculate the sum of all the values (2 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 1 + 10). And, divide the resulting sum (which is 28) by the number of values (which is 7). This value (4) will be the mean for the sample set of numbers. This average value need not always be a whole number. The mean of 2, 3, 4 and 5 is 14/4 which is 3.5. Armed with this knowledge, we can safely establish the formula for finding the mean as:
Mean = Sum of all the values in the sample / Total number of values in the sample
The mean is one of the three possible ways to calculate the Central Tendency. However, it is the most commonly used measure to find the central tendency. Though the mean is heavily associated with math, it should be noted that it has also weaved its way into a vast array of other fields as well. The concept of mean is used frequently in economics, history and sociology. And, you might actually be faced with the prospect of finding the mean value in real life situations as well. The average mark of your class, the average runs scored by your favorite player, the average rainfall in your region, all these are real life examples of mean.