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Normal Distributions What is a Normal Distribution? Why are Many Variables Normally Distributed? Why are Many Variables Normally Distributed? How Are Normal Distributions Useful?

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What is a Normal Distribution? A frequency distribution that has a symmetrical, bell shape with equal mean, median, and mode. Most scores are in the middle.

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Why are Many Variables Normally Distributed? Many variables are assumed to be normally distributed. Why? Most variables are affected by many random factors. Random effects tend to balance out.

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How are Normal Distributions Useful? Needed for inferential statistics. Find percentile ranks without knowing all the scores in the distribution. Determine probabilities.

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Areas Under the Normal Distribution We can find a proportion of scores above or below a particular point in the normal distribution. This proportion can be interpreted as a percentage, or as a probability. We don’t need to know all the scores.

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