This edition: Normal Distributions
In this lesson, you will learn how the visual impression of a histogram is translated into curves that closely describe the data. By looking at a histogram, we can easily see the mean and spread of the data. These curves are of the utmost importance in statistics. Researchers not only analyze these curves of the distribution, they also compare the mean and spread of these distributions. Precise descriptions of a data set are of little use if they cannot be compared somehow to other distributions. In this lesson, you will learn how statisticians “standardize” distributions of a certain kind so that they can make accurate comparisons of descriptive statistical data. Certain common distributions form a very familiar pattern in statistics. As you will see, it is this common regular distribution that can be standardized to compare different distributions, which aids researchers in comparing different populations.