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Topic 5: The Normal Curve

Topic 5 deals with the normal curve and the properties of the normal curve. Specifically, the chapter discussion shows students how to standardize distributions to Z-scores and introduces the basic properties of the normal curve.

Suggested Readings:

  • Healey, Chapter 5: The Normal Curve
  • Bennett, Chapter 5: The Normal Curve


  1. explain the importance of the Central Limit Theorem
  2. identify and explain the role of sampling in statistical research
  3. explain the major sampling techniques and discuss their strengths and weaknesses
  4. explain what a representative sample is and its importance in statistical research
  5. describe the major types of statistical studies
  6. explain the basic properties of a normal curve 
  7. be able to standardize a distribution to units of standard deviations 
  8. use the normal curve to understand location of scores on a distribution

Supplements & Handouts:

Suggested Practice:


The lab does not deal directly with the chapter material. Instead, the lab introduces students to the Compute command as one more procedure in SPSS.