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In statistics, a frequency distribution in the shape of the classic bell curve. It accurately represents most variations in such attributes as height and weight. Any random variable with a normal distribution has a mean (seemean, median, and mode) and a standard deviation that indicates how much the data as a whole deviate from the mean. The standard deviation is smaller for data clustered closely around the mean value and larger for more dispersed data sets.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on normal distribution, visit Britannica.com.