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Chapter 12. Working with Statistical Fun... > Understanding the Normal Distributio...

Understanding the Normal Distribution and the NORMDIST() Function

The next few sections require some knowledge of perhaps the most famous object in the statistical world: the normal distribution (it's also called the normal frequency curve). This refers to a set of values that are symmetrically clustered around a central mean, with the frequencies of each value highest near the mean and falling off as you move farther from the mean (either to the left or to the right).

Figure 12.6 shows a chart that displays a typical normal distribution. In fact, this particular example is called the standard normal distribution, and it's defined as having mean 0 and standard deviation 1. The distinctive bell shape of this distribution is why it's often called the bell curve).


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