bell curve
(click for larger image in new window) A symmetrical bell-shaped curve that represents the distribution of values, frequencies, or probabilities of a set of data. It slopes downward from a point in the middle corresponding to the mean value, or the maximum probability. Data that reflect the aggregate outcome of large numbers of unrelated events tend to result in bell curve distributions. ◇ The Gaussian or normal distribution is a mathematically well-defined bell curve used in statistics and in science generally. |