The Normal Distribution is a family of continuous distributions that can model many histograms of real-life data which are mound-shaped (bell-shaped) and symmetric (for example, height, weight, etc.).
A normal curve has two parameters:
- mean $\mu$ (center of the curve)
- standard deviation $\sigma$ (spread about the center) (..and variance $\sigma^2$)
The mean can be any real number and the standard deviation is greater than zero. The normal curve ranges from negative infinity to infinity. The image below shows the effect of the mean and standard deviation on the shape of the normal curve.