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Median

  • By: Greg W. Welch & Chris S. Meiers
  • In: Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology
  • Edited by: Neil J. Salkind
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), Educational Psychology, School Psychology

Quantitative research in educational psychology typically begins with a description of the sample of subjects. This initial stage of analysis focuses on describing the center, shape, and spread (dispersion) of the observed data points. Various measures are available for describing the center, shape, and spread of a distribution of observed data points. In most instances, the researcher begins by describing the center point or central tendency of the distribution. Measures of central tendency (center) include the mean, median, and mode. The median is an often-used measure of central tendency because of the desirable characteristics it possesses.

The median is technically defined as the data point that splits the distribution of data in equal halves. That is, half of the data points fall above the median ...

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