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A Useful Display of a Normal Population

A Useful Display of a Normal Population

Created by Robert Jernigan of American University (Washington, D.C.), this article describes how to make a physical model of the normal distribution and use it to illustrate the concepts of sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The author addresses many of the misconceptions attached to the normal population. The author states, "Most courses in basic statistics are filled with discussions of the mysterious normal population. Statistical tests assume it, students find areas for it, a theorem tells us that in the limit everything is it, but students still wonder what is it?" This page will hopefully allow students to better understand this often misunderstood statistical test.

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