Calculating the Arithmetic Mean: A Quick Guide

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The mean, or average, is a measure of central tendency used to describe a dataset's typical or average value. To calculate the mean of a dataset, you add up all the values in the dataset and then divide by the number of values. For example, if you have the following dataset:

Example: 10, 11, 14, 9, 6

To calculate the mean of this dataset, you would add up all the values to get a total of 50 and then divide by the number of values, which is 5. This gives you a mean of 10.

The formula for calculating the mean of a dataset is:

$$ \bar{x} = \frac{\sum_{i=1}^n x_i}{n} $$

where \(\bar{x}\) is the mean, \(x_i\) is the \(i^{th}\) value in the dataset, and \(n\) is the number of values in the dataset.

In this example, the formula would be:

$$ \bar{x} = \frac{10 + 11 + 14 + 9 + 6}{5} = 10 $$

Overall, the mean is a commonly used measure of central tendency used to describe a dataset's typical or average value. By using the formula and adding up all the values in the dataset, you can easily calculate the mean of a dataset.

Using Microsoft Excel

You can use the AVERAGE function to find the mean of a set of numbers in Excel. This function takes the form AVERAGE(number1, number2, ...), where number1, number2, etc. are the numbers you want to average. For example, if you have a list of numbers in cells A1 through A5, you could find the average of those numbers using the formula =AVERAGE(A1:A5).


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