Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 1
Sample Size, Mean, Standard Deviation,
and Standard Error of the Mean
This chapter deals with how you can use Excel to find the average (i.e., ‘‘mean’’)
of a set of scores, the standard deviation of these scores (STDEV), and the standard
error of the mean (s.e.) of these scores. All three of these statistics are used
frequently and form the basis for additional statistical tests.
1.1 Mean
The mean is the ‘‘arithmetic average’’ of a set of scores. When my daughter was in
the fifth grade, she came home from school with a sad face and said that she didn’t
get ‘‘averages.’’ The book she was using described how to find the mean of a set of
scores, and so I said to her:
‘‘Jennifer, you add up all the scores and divide by the number of numbers that
you have.’’
She gave me ‘‘that look,’’ and said: ‘‘Dad, this is serious!’’ She thought I was
teasing her. So I said:
‘‘See these numbers in your book; add them up. What is the answer?’’ (She did
‘‘Now, how many numbers do you have?’’ (She answered that question).
‘‘Then, take the number you got when you added up the numbers, and divide
that number by the number of numbers that you have.’’
She did that, and found the correct answer. You will use that same reasoning
now, but it will be much easier for you because Excel will do all of the steps for
We will call this average of the scores the ‘‘mean’’ which we will symbolize as:
X, and we will pronounce it as: ‘‘Xbar.’’
The formula for finding the mean with you calculator looks like this:
T. J. Quirk et al., Excel 2010 for Biological and Life Sciences Statistics,
DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-5779-4_1,
Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
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