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Thread: following a distribution?

  1. #1
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    following a distribution?

    We're studying commonly used distributions in class, but I still have no idea what a distribution is.

    What does it mean when someone says, "X (random variable) follows a normal distribution, bernoulli distribution, poisonn dist, etc?" I know what random vars are, I just don't understand the language: follows a [something] distribution.

    It seems to me that these distributions are like templates. And given a population, the population will fit/follow one of these templates. Am I at all on the right track?

    For example, given a sample of ages of students at a school, you will be able to categorize what distribution/template the sample fits/follows?

    Any explanations of this whole standard distributions would be very helpful. Thank you.
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor Unknown008's Avatar
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    Yes, you can call it as a template, because the trend the variable will 'tend to follow' has the 'shape' of the distribution you are using.

    It's mostly about graphs, so, if you can see the graphs, you see how the variables are (considered to be) arranged.
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