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Normal

Normal

Represents the characteristics that are typical for that is, exhibited bymost members of a particular group.

For statistical purposes, normal means whatever is average for a given group of people ("the norm"). Therefore, the term normal does include those group members who deviate significantly from the measures of central tendency (the mean , the median , or the mode ) of a given distribution.

The term normal is fundamentally statistical and quantitative. In testing and measuring, for example, normal can be defined as a central cluster of scores in relation to a larger grouping. In intelligence testing normal is also defined by the average, or mean, which is established as an IQ score of around 100.

However, in many contexts normal is a subjective term that is very difficult to define. In the absence of fixed standards, normal and abnormal are often defined in terms of each other. However, rather than a simple pairing of opposites, they are generally thought of as points on a continuum of social adjustment, with normal people possessing certain positive traits to a greater degree, while abnormal people are characterized by deficiencies in these traits. Some of the traits that help define psychological normalcy are efficient perception of reality; self-knowledge; self-control; ability to form affectionate relationships; self-esteem ; and productivity. The notion of defining normalcy in terms of social adjustment has its detractors, who argue that such a definition places too much emphasis on conformity and too little on such traits as individuality and creativity .

Further Reading

Martin, David W. Doing Psychology Experiments. 2nd ed. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1985.

Berman, Simeon M. Mathematical Statistics: An Introduction Based on the Normal Distribution. Scranton, PA: Intext Educational Publishers, 1971.

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normal

nor·mal / ˈnôrməl/ • adj. 1. conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected: it's quite normal for puppies to bolt their food | normal working hours. ∎  (of a person) free from physical or mental disorders. 2. technical (of a line, ray, or other linear feature) intersecting a given line or surface at right angles. 3. Med. (of a salt solution) containing the same salt concentration as the blood. ∎  dated Chem. (of a solution) containing one gram-equivalent of solute per liter. 4. Geol. denoting a fault or faulting in which a relative downward movement occurred in the strata situated on the upper side of the fault plane. • n. 1. the usual, average, or typical state or condition: her temperature was above normal | the service will be back to normal next week. ∎  a person who is physically or mentally healthy. 2. technical a line at right angles to a given line or surface. DERIVATIVES: nor·mal·cy / -məlsē/ n. nor·mal·i·ty / nôrˈmalitē/ n.

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normalize

nor·mal·ize / ˈnôrməˌlīz/ • v. 1. [tr.] bring or return to a normal condition or state: Vietnam and China agreed to normalize diplomatic relations in 1991 | [intr.] the situation had normalized. 2. [tr.] (often be normalized) Math. multiply (a series, function, or item of data) by a factor that makes the norm or some associated quantity such as an integral equal to a desired value (usually 1). ∎  Comput. (in floating-point representation) express (a number) in the standard form with regard to the position of the radix point, usually immediately preceding the first nonzero digit. DERIVATIVES: nor·mal·i·za·tion / ˌnôrmələˈzāshən/ n. nor·mal·iz·er n.

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Normal

Normal, town (1990 pop. 40,023), McLean co., central Ill.; inc. 1865. It is the center of a productive farming region. Motor vehicles are manufactured in Normal. The town originally grew around Illinois State Univ. (1857; formerly called Illinois State Normal Univ.), which remains a major contributor to its economy.

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Normal

Nor·mal / ˈnôrməl/ a town in central Illinois, home to Illinois State University (originally a normal, or teachers, school); pop. 40,023.

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normal

normal •sewellel •camel, enamel, entrammel, mammal, trammel •miasmal, phantasmal •Carmel •abysmal, baptismal, catechismal, dismal, paroxysmal •animal • minimal • lachrymal •maximal •decimal, infinitesimal •septimal • optimal • primal • Rommel •abnormal, conformal, formal, normal, paranormal, subnormal •chromosomal • Kümmel •Brummell, pommel, pummel •epidermal, geothermal, isothermal, pachydermal, taxidermal, thermal

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