What are the different types of averages?

  1. I know there are three types of averaging methods in statistics: Mean, Mode and Median. Are there any other type of averaging methods that statisticians use?

  2. How do I know which method is best for a particular set of data?


  1. One popular type of average that you have not mentioned is the trimmed mean (recommended by, for example, Wilcox, 2010) which I think of as a middle road between the mean and the median. You get the trimmed mean by first discarding $n$ % of the lower and upper part of your sample and then taking the mean of the resulting subset, where $n$ can be , for example, 10. The resulting average is generally more robust to outliers than the mean.

  2. If your data looks normally distributed (or generally heap shaped) the mean is a good description of the general tendency of the data. If the data is skewed then often the median or a trimmed mean can be a better description of the general tendency.


Wilcox, R. R. (2010). Fundamentals of Modern Statistical Methods: Substantially Improving Power and Accuracy, Springer, 2nd Ed.

Source : Link , Question Author : gpuguy , Answer Author : Rasmus Bååth

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