Bell Shaped Distribution

Probability Distributions >

There are many different bell shaped distributions in statistics. The most well known is the “bell curve“, formally called the normal distribution. However, the normal distribution isn’t the only bell shaped distribution—there are others, including:

bell shaped distribution
The logistic distribution is a family of bell shaped distributions.

Properties of a Bell Shaped Distribution

A bell shaped distribution is named because it looks like the shape of a bell when plotted on a graph. These distributions share several important properties:

  • A single peak in the center (i.e., they are unimodal distributions).
  • Symmetry: If you draw a vertical line down the center of the graph, the left half will mirror the right.


PDF of the logistic distribution. Image: Krishnavedala| Wikimedia Commons
[1] M. J. Fischer, Generalized Hyperbolic Secant Distributions, 1
SpringerBriefs in Statistics, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-45138-6_1
[2] Ross, G. Probability/Density Distributions.
[3] Cunningham, A. Probability Playground: The Cauchy Distribution.

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