# math

Suppose that you are the
chief of maintenance for a large metropolitan hospital.
You are trying to decide from what company to buy your
next 5-year supply of light bulbs. Would you look to the
company whose light bulbs have the greatest mean or
the greatest median life? Explain your reasoning.

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1. greatest mean would refer to the highest average life of each light bulb, while the greatest median when looking at a 5 year supply is not as relevant, half your light bulbs would have a lifespan below the median and half would have a life span above. Compare this to all light bulbs lasting roughly the same amount of time.

What would you choose?

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posted by Jordan
2. The mean and median are both measures of central tendency. In a normal distribution, they would be essentially the same.

However, in a skewed distribution (one tail significantly longer than the other), the mean will be greatly influenced by the deviant scores. If it is positively skewed (longer tail for the higher values), the mean would be higher than the median. The opposite is true for a negatively skewed distribution.

I hope this helps you make your decision. Thanks for asking.

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posted by PsyDAG

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