6.1 The Standard Normal Distribution
A z-score is a standardized value. Its distribution is the standard normal, Z ~ N(0, 1). The mean of the z-scores is zero and the standard deviation is one. If z is the z-score for a value x from the normal distribution N(µ, σ), then z tells you how many standard deviations x is above—greater than—or below—less than—µ.
6.2 Using the Normal Distribution
The normal distribution, which is continuous, is the most important of all the probability distributions. Its graph is bell-shaped. This bell-shaped curve is used in almost all disciplines. Since it is a continuous distribution, the total area under the curve is one. The parameters of the normal are the mean µ and the standard deviation σ. A special normal distribution, called the standard normal distribution, is the distribution of z-scores. Its mean is zero, and its standard deviation is one.