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The [normal or Gaussian probability distribution] is actually a family of distributions of the same general form, differing only in their location and scale parameters, commonly called the mean and standard deviation. The shape consists of a central bulge centered on the mean with about 99% of the area under the density curve between the mean plus and minus three standard deviations.

One reason that this distribution occurs so often in statistical work is the [Central Limit Theorem]. Simply stated, this theorem says that if you add up a lot of little things, the resulting distribution will resemble the normal distribution.


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Last edited February 16, 2001 6:30 am by cobrand.bomis.com (diff)