7.3 - Minitab: Finding Values Given Proportions

Minitab can also be used to find the values that separate a given proportion of the normal distribution. This can be used to find the value that offset a given proportion, such as the top 10%, bottom 25%, or middle 95%. In this lesson, we'll learn how to find such values on the z distribution or on a normal distribution with a given mean and standard deviation.

In Lesson 4, we used the standard error method to construct a 95% confidence interval by estimating the z* multiplier to be 2 using the Empirical Rule, because approximately 95% of a normal distribution falls within two standard deviations of the mean. Later in this lesson, we'll see that the procedures we're learning here, specifically finding the z scores that offset the middle X%, can be used to determine the z* multiplier to construct a confidence interval for any confidence level. For example, we can use Minitab to find the z values that offset the middle 90% of the z distribution, which would be the multipliers for a 90% confidence interval.