Deutsch: Durchschnitt / Español: Media / Português: Média / Français: Moyenne / Italiano: Media /

Mean is defined as the measure that represents an arithmetic average of a set of numbers. Mean is derived by dividing the sum of a group of numerical items by the total number of items in that group. For example, mean family income is obtained by dividing the total of all income reported by people 15 years and over in families by the total number of families. Moreover, Mean is a measure of central tendency obtained by summing the individual scores and dividing the sum by the number of scores.

There is a second meaning, where 'mean' refers to a type of aggression. This is described in the following chapters.


Mean, in the context of psychology, refers to a type of aggression or hostility that is often displayed through words, actions, or behaviors that are intended to cause harm or distress to others. It is a common form of social interaction that can be seen in various situations, such as in school settings, workplaces, or even within families.

Individuals who exhibit mean behavior may do so for a variety of reasons, such as seeking attention, asserting power or control, or due to feelings of jealousy or insecurity. Mean behavior can take many forms, including teasing, name-calling, gossiping, spreading rumors, exclusion, or physical aggression.

Children and adolescents who demonstrate mean behavior may experience social rejection, conflicts with peers, academic difficulties, and emotional problems such as depression or anxiety. In adults, mean behavior can manifest as bullying, harassment, or manipulation, leading to strained relationships and negative consequences in various aspects of life.

It is important for psychologists and mental health professionals to address and intervene in cases of mean behavior, as it can have long-term effects on the well-being of individuals and communities. Strategies for addressing mean behavior may include promoting empathy, communication skills, conflict resolution, and assertiveness training.

Overall, understanding the psychological factors that contribute to mean behavior and implementing effective interventions can help create healthier and more positive social environments where individuals can thrive and interact respectfully with one another.

Areas of Application

  • Research studies: numerical average of a set of scores
  • Behavioral observations: describing participants' attitudes or behaviors
  • Survey data analysis: central tendency measure
  • Intervention evaluation: measuring effectiveness of treatment

Well-Known Examples

  • Central tendency: The mean is used as a measure of central tendency in a data set.
  • Group comparison: Means are compared between different groups to identify differences in psychological variables.
  • Quantifying behavior: The mean is used to quantify behavior in psychological research studies.
  • Assessment of mood: Mean scores on mood scales are used to assess levels of various mood states.
  • Treatment effectiveness: The mean change in symptoms is used to evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment in psychology.

Treatment and Risks

  • Therapy: A form of treatment where individuals can explore the root causes of their mean behavior and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Medication: In some cases, medications such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers may be prescribed to help manage underlying mental health conditions contributing to meanness.
  • Anger management courses: Programs designed to teach individuals how to identify triggers for their mean behavior and learn healthy ways to express and manage their emotions.
  • Family therapy: Helpful for addressing dynamics within the family that may be contributing to the individual's mean behavior.
  • Risks of untreated mean behavior: Failure to address mean behavior can lead to strained relationships, social isolation, and potentially legal consequences if aggressive or violent behavior escalates.

Similar Terms

  • Aggressive: Showing a readiness to attack or confront.
  • Hostile: Displaying anger or opposition towards others.
  • Antagonistic: Tending to provoke conflict or opposition.
  • Ruthless: Showing no mercy or compassion.
  • Malevolent: Having or showing a desire to harm others.

Examples of Sentences

  • I can't believe she said such a **mean** thing to me in class today.
  • He always plays the role of the **mean** older brother, teasing his siblings.
  • The professor explained the concept of the arithmetic **mean** in statistics class.
  • One of the main predictors of job satisfaction is the **mean** level of supervision provided by the manager.



In psychology, 'mean' typically refers to the average of a set of numbers. It is calculated by adding up all the numbers in the set and then dividing by the total number of values. The mean is considered a measure of central tendency and is often used to represent the typical or average value in a data set. It can be influenced by extreme values, making it important to consider the context of the data when interpreting the mean.


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