Balance Scale Demonstration

Learning Objectives
  1. Understand what it means for a distribution to balance on a fulcrum
  2. Learn which measure of central tendency will balance a distribution.

This demonstration allows you to see the point at which the distribution balances for different shaped distributions.

The graph in the right panel is a histogram of 600 scores. The mean and median are equal to 8 and are indicated by small vertical bars on the X axis The top portion of the bar is in blue and represents the mean. The bottom portion is in pink and represents the median. The mean and median are also shown to the left of the Y axis.

You can see that the histogram is balanced on the tip of the triangle (the fulcrum). The triangle beneath the X-axis is always at the point where the histogram is balanced. In these slides you will see differently shaped distributions. See if you can determine the relationship between the mean, median, and/or the mode and the location of the balance point.

Slide Show