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Discussion 1

When you were a child, you might have seen a dark brown bottle of a mysterious liquid high on a shelf in your garage, out of your reach. “That’s poison,” a parent might have warned, pointing to the container. “Don’t touch.” It nonetheless had some use. It was there for a reason. This example illustrates a principle: Items that can be misused often have a valid use, and vice versa. An average (e.g. mean, median, and mode) is not an exception; it can be useful, but if it is misused or misinterpreted it can be destructive.

In what way might an average be misused? Alternatively, how might an average be misinterpreted? For instance, how can a misinterpreted average pertain to stereotyping? How can we avoid misuse or misinterpretation of averages? Provide a specific example to illustrate your explanation.

DISCUSSION 2

Using Microsoft Excel, complete the following exercises out of the textbook:

  • Exercise 14: Perception of Time – What is average
     The data below are times (in seconds) recorded when statistics students participated in an experiment to test their ability to determine when 1 minute (60 seconds) has passed: What do these data suggest about students’ perception of time?  
     53 52  75  62  68  58  49  49
     
  • Exercise 13: Perception of Time – measures in variation
     The following times (in seconds) were recorded when statistics students participated in an experiment to test their ability to determine when 1 minute (60 seconds) has passed: What do these data suggest about students’ perception of time?
     53 52  75  62  68  58  49  49
     

In these exercises, you will practice computing measures of average and measures of deviation.

Submit both a Word document and two Excel documents as needed to show calculations and interpret the results.