# means v proportions

An important distinction in Chapters 6 and 7 and 8 is the difference between a MEAN ( commonly referred to as an "average" ) and a PROPORTION (commonly thought of as a "portion out of a whole amount").

For example, a sample of college students might be asked about their cell phones:

• Q.1 :  How many of you have an iPhone (as opposed to an Android phone) ?
• Q.2 :  What do you pay each month for phone service ?

For Q.1, the answer would be a proportion, such as 75% , or  20 out of 24 , or  "half" .  All the answers would need to be between 0%  and  100%  ( 0 and 1 ) .  You could count up the number of students who have iPhones, and find the proportion, but the "mean of the number of people who have iPhones" would not make any sense.

For Q.2, the answer could be ANY dollar amount, not just amounts between 0 and 1 .  if you took all of the answers from the sample, you could calculate the mean dollar amount, but the "proportion of the dollar amount" would not make any sense.

Although both questions deal with cell phones, the answers to those questions are expressed in very different ways, and understanding the differences is CRUCIAL in the remainder of this course.  There are many such examples of concepts that could have questions of each type.

For this discussion post, you will need to come up with TWO unique, creative examples of a topic with a ‘proportion question’ and a ‘mean question’ .  You should have TWO separate examples, EACH with the TWO types of questions.  You should clearly explain how each question fits the proper category.

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