# Basics: Normal Distributions

In general, when we gather data, we expect to see a particular pattern to
the data, called a normal distribution. A normal distribution is one
where the data is evenly distributed around the mean in a very regular way,
which when plotted as a
histogram will result in a bell curve. There are a lot of ways of
defining “normal distribution” formally, but the simple intuitive idea of it
is that in a normal distribution, things tend towards the mean – the closer a
value is to the mean, the more you’ll see it; and the number of values on
either side of the mean at any particular distance are equal.

# Basics: Mean, Median, and Mode

Statistics is something that surrounds us every day – we’re constantly
bombarded with statistics, in the form of polls, tests, ratings, etc. Understanding those statistics can be an important thing, but unfortunately, most people have never been taught just what statistics really mean, how they’re computed, or how to distinguish the different between
statistics used properly, and statistics misused to deceive.

The most basic concept in statistics in the idea of an average. An average is a single number which represents the idea of a typical value. There are three different numbers which can represent the idea of an average value, and it’s important to know which one is being used, and whether or not that is appropriate. The three values are the mean, the median, and the mode.