The mean is a descriptive statistic that survey researchers commonly use to characterize the data from their studies. Along with the median and mode, the mean constitutes one of the measures of central tendency—a general term for a set of values or measurements located at or near the middle of the data set. The arithmetic mean is the most commonly used measure of central tendency and is what is commonly referred to as the "average" of the data values. The mean is calculated by taking the sum of the data set and dividing by the number of observations to obtain the arithmetic mean. For example, in a data set containing the values 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, the arithmetic mean ...
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