In statistics and research, you will often hear the term normal distribution, but what exactly does this mean? A normal distribution is a theoretical idea that is based on theory rather than real data. Normal distributions are typically the goal and the ideal in research and data and something that every researcher strives for. A normal distribution is a distribution that is bell-shaped and symmetrical. The mean, median, and mode are all the same and coincide with the peak of the curve. The frequencies then gradually decrease at both ends of the curve. The normal distribution is also often called the bell-shaped curve because of its shape. Read more about the normal distribution and see a picture that illustrates what a normal distribution looks like.