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The bell curve, also called the normal curve, is a graph shaped like a bell representing the symmetrical distribution of quantities around a midpoint when the median approximates the mean. The bell curve was originally designed to display binomial probability (coin toss) of infinite trials: the more times you flip a coin, the higher the probability that you will accumulate an equal number of heads and tails. However, the meaning of the bell curve has been radically transformed since its invention in the 1700s. Assumptions about bell-curve distributions have influenced epistemology, research protocols, and assumptions of normality in education. The bell curve has recently taken on more colloquial meanings (e.g., “grading on a curve”), and new debates have arisen since the publication of Richard Herrnstein ...

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