# normal distribution curve

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## normal distribution curve

or## Gaussian curve

the bell-like shape produced when a ‘normal’ population is sampled for a continuously varying character (e.g. height in humans) and the FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION plotted on a graph. The curve is theoretically exactly symmetrical, so that the shape on each side of the mean is the mirror image of the other, with an equal area. See**Fig. 231**. Thus the MODE, MEDIAN, and ARITHMETIC MEAN are all at the centre of the distribution. The curve shows the frequency of recorded height in a ‘normal’ population of humans.

Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005

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