Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Simply, do you use absolute value to work out mean?

    I have to work out the mean of a group of numbers with some negative numbers in there, so would I use the absolute value of these to work it out?

    If not, does that mean I can have a negative mean? What would a negative mean imply (in general)?
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    15
    Study Helper
    (Original post by claret_n_blue)
    Simply, do you use absolute value to work out mean?

    I have to work out the mean of a group of numbers with some negative numbers in there, so would I use the absolute value of these to work it out?

    If not, does that mean I can have a negative mean? What would a negative mean imply (in general)?
    No, you do not use the absolute value, you use the actual value.

    Yes, you can have a negative mean.

    Meaning depends on context. E.g. the mean height of the Dead Sea above sea level is minus..., i.e. it's below sea level.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    You don't; and it'd just imply that the average value of the variable is negative
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I don't see why mathematically you can't have a negative mean. If you had a set of numbers that were all negative, then the mean would also be negative as the sum of all numbers will be negative, but the number of numbers isn't (and cannot be negative). If it was mixed, it depends on the numbers.

    What it would imply depends on what you're averaging. Suppose you're averaging the profits of a firm over 5 years, then if the mean was positive then the firm has made a net profit over the 5 years. Likewise, it the mean was negative, the firm would've made a loss.
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Study Helper
    (Original post by claret_n_blue)
    Simply, do you use absolute value to work out mean?

    I have to work out the mean of a group of numbers with some negative numbers in there, so would I use the absolute value of these to work it out?

    If not, does that mean I can have a negative mean? What would a negative mean imply (in general)?
    use the actual numbers. Mean temperature could be negative in the arctic!
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: January 5, 2013
Poll
Do you think parents should charge rent?
Useful resources

Make your revision easier

Maths

Maths Forum posting guidelines

Not sure where to post? Read the updated guidelines here

Equations

How to use LaTex

Writing equations the easy way

Student revising

Study habits of A* students

Top tips from students who have already aced their exams

Study Planner

Create your own Study Planner

Never miss a deadline again

Polling station sign

Thinking about a maths degree?

Chat with other maths applicants

Can you help? Study help unanswered threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.