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Question

You are planning a party and want to know how many cans of soda to buy. A genie offers to tell you either the mean number of cans guests will drink or the median number of cans. Which measure of center should you ask for? Why? To make your answer concrete, suppose that there will be 30 guests and the genie will tell you either $\overline{x}=5$ cans or M=3 cans. How many cans should you have on hand?

Solution

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Since you want to take into account extreme drinkers as well, it is best to use the mean since the mean takes into account outliers and the median does not.

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