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Quartile questions

  1. Feb 14, 2004 #1
    I have a few questions about distributing values into quartiles:

    1.must all equal values be in the same quartile, even if that makes you create (sometimes very)unequal groups?

    2.what do you do when your number of values cannot be divided by 4? Say I have 10 values, do I make the quartiles 3-2-3-2, 2-3-3-2, or something else?

    About percentiles, what do you do when you have less than 100 values?

    I know stats isn't meant to be used on small numbers of values, but I am tutoring two high school students and couldn't answer these questions.


  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2004 #2
    I teach at 4 unis and also privately teach students. Unfortunately for you I have seen at least 4 similar ways of doing this. The most common way is that the upper quartile is the median of the upper half of the numbers. so the upper quartile of
    12,13,15,19,100,102 is the median of 19,100,102 so the upper quartile is 100.

    note that if the data set is odd the middle number is used in both the lower half and upper half of the numbers.

    so the lower quartile of 13,15,19,100,102 is the median of 13,15,19
    so lower quartile is 15.

    so the upper quartile of 13,15,19,100,102 is the median of 19,100,102
    so lower quartile is 100.

    if you want a formula that works quartiles it the
    lower quartile is the (n+1)*0.25th number.

    the xth percentile would be (n+1)*x/100th number

    What do you when you want the 5.25th number? take the 5th number or use linear interpolation, it depends on their skill.
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