Fundamentals of Social Statistics


The median is the average that indicates the value below which half the cases lie.  That is, the median is the point at which 50% of the values fall above and 50% fall below.  It is the middle point of the distribution.  The median has to do with how many scores there are in a distribution and is not affected by the value of those scores.  This means that the median is not sensitive to extreme scores as the mean is.  There is no special symbol used for the Median, it is usually written out or abbreviated Mdn.

Computing the Median

There is no formula for the median.  It is determined by taking the following steps:

1.        Arrange the scores in order from low to high

2.        If there are an odd number of scores, the median is the middlemost number in the list

3.     If there are an even number of scores, obtain the median by computing the mean of the two middlemost scores


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Last Modified:  02/18/2019

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