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November 24th, 2016, 11:33 AM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2014 Posts: 114 Thanks: 1  Is total of interest?
Hello, What means ' Is total of interest' ? 
November 24th, 2016, 04:18 PM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: May 2007 Posts: 6,755 Thanks: 695 
You need to supply context.

November 24th, 2016, 10:13 PM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2014 Posts: 114 Thanks: 1  
November 25th, 2016, 04:51 AM  #4 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2015 From: Planet Earth Posts: 141 Thanks: 25 
What is the typical favorite number of children in kindergarten? How long is a typical answer in the forum? Well, it depends on what you mean by "typical." "Favorite number" is categorical. If you ask 11 children, you might get a set like "one, one, two, three, three, three, five, seven, ten, one million, one googleplex." But the values here aren't what the question was asking about. The median  five  appears only once, and isn't the answer you seek because you aren't concerned about how that value compares to "one" or "one googleplex." Averaging would be also pointless. The result would essentially be "one googleplex," which most of them haven't heard of. "Three" appears more often than any other number  it is the mode  and is the best answer. Now, most things that are categorical are not numbers, so there is no median or mean. Like "Favorite color" instead of "favorite number." I chose my example to show how numbers can be categorical. While it may not be as dramatic a range as "favorite numbers," the lengths of answers here include some less than 10 words ("You need to supply context"  thanks for the example mathman ), many in the 50100 word range, and then mine. I like to explain things in detail, and am exaggerating the tendency for this answer. It isn't the difference in the values  that is, the total of each  that you care about. Only the comparison of values  that my 500 word answer is more than those 50100 word ones. If you include mine in a mean, the answer will rise well above that 50100 word range. Just like averaging "one googleplex," my long answers will skew the mean well above the length of most answers. So you can't call the mean "typical." The point is, that you aren't interested in the total number of words, you want to know what ranges the answers typically fall in. That would be the 50100 range, where the median is. Last edited by JeffJo; November 25th, 2016 at 05:35 AM. 
November 25th, 2016, 05:39 AM  #5 
Math Team Joined: Jan 2015 From: Alabama Posts: 3,264 Thanks: 902 
"Is total of interest" means "are we interested in the total" or "do we want to find the total" of a list of numbers. If the answer to that question is "yes" then we "use the mean". If the answer is "no" then we go to the next question and determine whether or not the distribution is skewed.

November 27th, 2016, 02:10 AM  #6 
Banned Camp Joined: Nov 2016 From: St. Louis, Missouri Posts: 28 Thanks: 4 Math Focus: arithmetic, fractions 
The chart you provide with your question isn't helpful enough.


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