7.2.1 - Proportion 'Less Than'

The cumulative probability for a value is the probability less than or equal to that value. In notation, this is \(P(X\leq x)\). The proportion at or below a given value is also known as a percentile.

Minitab 18

Minitab®  – Proportion Less Than a z Value

Question: What proportion of the standard normal distribution is less than a z score of -2?

Recall that the standard normal distribution (i.e., z distribution) has a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1. This is the default normal distribution in Minitab.

Steps
  1. From the tool bar select Graph > Probability Distribution Plot > One Curve > View Probability
  2. Check that the Mean is 0 and the Standard deviation is 1
  3. Select Options
  4. Select A specified x value
  5. Select Left tail
  6. For X value enter -2
  7. Click Ok
  8. Click Ok

This should result in the following output:

Minitab output of a z distribution showing the area less than a z score of -2

The proportion of the standard normal distribution that is less than a z score of -2 is 0.02275.

This could also be written as P(z < -2) = 0.02275.

Video Walkthrough

Minitab 18

Minitab®  – Proportion Less Than a Value on a Normal Distribution

Scenario: Vehicle speeds at a highway location have a normal distribution with a mean of 65 mph and a standard deviation of 5 mph. What is the probability that a randomly selected vehicle will be going 73 mph or slower?

Let's construct a normal distribution with a mean of 65 and standard deviation of 5 to find the area less than 73.

Steps
  1. From the tool bar select Graph > Probability Distribution Plot > One Curve > View Probability
  2. Change the Mean to 65 and the Standard deviation to 5
  3. Select Options
  4. Select A specified x value
  5. Select Left tail
  6. For X value enter 73
  7. Click Ok
  8. Click Ok

This should result in the following output:

Minitab output of a normal distribution with mean of 65 and standard deviation of 5 showing the area less than 7

On a normal distribution with a mean of 65 mph and standard deviation of 5 mph, the proportion less than 73 mph is 0.9452.

In other words, 94.52% of vehicles will be going 73 mph or slower.

Video Walkthrough