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I recently learnt that electronegativity generally decreases as I move down a group and from right to left within a period. However, according to the table below, Pb has an electronegativity of $2.33$, which is higher than $1.96$ of Sn. There are also a lot other elements, such as Au, Hg, and W, that does not follow the general rule of electronegativity.

Can someone offer an explanation of why some elements have a higher electronegativity than the elements directly above them?

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Electronegativity, symbol χ, is a chemical property that describes the tendency of an atom to attract a shared pair of electrons towards itself.

Lead has an electronic configuration of [Xe] 4f¹⁴ 5d¹⁰ 6s² 6p² Inorder to achieve half filled electronic configuration which stabilises the lead atom, it attracts on the shared pair of electrons with greater force making it more electronegative than Tin.

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  • $\begingroup$ But Sn is also one electron away from half filled 5p. How would you explain that? $\endgroup$ – Larry Jan 14 at 12:08

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