Notes on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Median

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It is very simple to understand and easy to calculate. In some cases it is obtained simply by inspection. In simple series, the item values have to be arranged. If the series contains large number of items, then the process becomes tedious.

Advantages of Median:

(1) It is very simple to understand and easy to calculate. In some cases it is obtained simply by inspection.

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(2) Median lies at the middle part of the series and hence it is not affected by the extreme values.

(3) It is a special average used in qualitative phenomena like intelligence or beauty which are not quantified but ranks are given. Thus we can locate the person whose intelligence or beauty is the average.

(4) In grouped frequency distribution it can be graphically located by drawing ogives.

(5) It is specially useful in open-ended distributions since the position rather than the value of item that matters in median.

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Disadvantages of Median :

(1) In simple series, the item values have to be arranged. If the series contains large number of items, then the process becomes tedious.

(2) It is a less representative average because it does not depend on all the items in the series.

(3) It is not capable of further algebraic treatment. For example, we can not find a combined median of two or more groups if the median of different groups are given.

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(4) It is affected more by sampling fluctuations than the mean as it is concerned with on1y one item i.e. the middle item.

(5) It is not rigidly defined. In simple series having even number of items, median cannot be exactly found. Moreover, the interpolation formula applied in the continuous series is based on the unrealistic assumption that the frequency of the median class is evenly spread over the magnitude of the class interval of the median group.

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