# normal distribution curve

In statistics, the theoretical curve that shows how often an experiment will produce a particular result. The curve is symmetrical and bell shaped, showing that trials will usually give a result near the average, but will occasionally deviate by large amounts. The width of the “bell” indicates how much confidence one can have in the result of an experiment — the narrower the bell, the higher the confidence. This curve is also called the Gaussian curve, after the nineteenth-century German mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss. (See statistical significance.)

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#### CAN YOU FEEL THE WEAL WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ?

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## notes for normal distribution curve

The normal distribution curve is often used in connection with tests in schools. Test designers often find that their results match a normal distribution curve, in which a large number of test takers do moderately well (the middle of the bell); some do worse than average, and some do better (the sloping sides of the bell); and a very small number get very high or very low scores (the rim of the bell).

## Words nearby normal distribution curve

normal, normal antibody, normal antitoxin, normal curve, normal distribution, normal distribution curve, normal divisor, normal equivalent deviate, normal fault, normal human plasma, normal human serum albumin

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.