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The mode or the model value is that value in a series of observations which occurs with the greatest frequency. The mode is often said to be the value which occurs most often, that is, with the highest frequency. While this statement is quite helpful in interpreting the mode, it cannot safely be applied to any distribution, because of the sampling. Even fairly large samples drawn from a statistical population with a single well defined mode may exhibit very critic fluctuations in this average if the mode is defined as that exact value in the ungrouped data of each sample which occurs most frequently.

Merits and Limitations of Mode


The main merits of mode are:

1.    By definitions mode is the most typical or representative value of a distributions. Hence when we talk of modal size of shoe or modal size of family it is this average that we refer to. The mode is a measure which actually does indicates what many people incorrectly believe the arithmetic means indicates. The mode is the most frequently occurring value.

2.    It is not affected by extremely large or small items.

3.    Its value can be determined in open-end distributions without ascertaining the class limits.

4.    It can be used to describe qualitative phenomenon.

5.    The value of mode can also be determined graphically whereas the value of mean cannot be graphically ascertained.


 The important limitations of this average are:

1.    The value of mode cannot always be determined. In some cases we may have a bimodal series.

2.    It is not capable of algebraic manipulations.

3.    The value of mode is not based on each and every item of the series.

4.    It is not a rigidly defined measure. There are several formulae for calculating the mode, all of which usually give somewhat different answers. In fact, mode is the most unstable average and its value is difficult to determine.

5.    While dealing with quantitative data, the advantages of the mode outweigh its good features and hence it is seldom used.

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