What is a normal
distribution?
A distribution, or frequency distribution, is a way to express a data set graphically. The x-axis is the data values, and the y-axis is the frequency in which those values appear in the data set. Given this, which measure of central tendency is represented by the highest point on a distribution curve? Normal distributions are a family of
distributions that have the same general shape. They are symmetric with scores more
concentrated in the middle than in the tails. Normal distributions are sometimes described
as bell shaped. Examples of normal distributions are shown to the right. Notice that they
differ in how spread out they are. The area under each curve is the same. The height of a
normal distribution can be specified mathematically in terms of two parameters: the mean
(m) and the standard deviation (s). |