# The Bell Curve – Intelligence & Trait Distribution

What is the bell curve and what does it show in terms of intelligence and personality distribution? This is not focused on the Book ‘The Bell Curve’, but rather an emphasis on the pattern distribution that the bell curve graph shows.

**What is the Bell Curve?**

The bell curve, also known as a normal distribution or Gaussian distribution, is a symmetrical probability distribution in statistics. It represents a graph where data clusters around the mean, with the highest frequency in the centre, and decreases gradually towards the tails.

**Here are some key points about the bell curve:**

**Symmetry:** The normal distribution is continuous and symmetrical on both sides of the mean. The right side mirrors the left side.

**Area Under the Curve:** The area under the normal distribution curve represents the probability, and the total area sums to one.

**Peak and Tails:** Most data values tend to cluster around the mean, and the further a value is from the mean, the less likely it is to occur. The tails are asymptotic, approaching but never quite meeting the x-axis.

**Gaussian Distribution:** The term “bell curve” comes from the graph’s bell-like shape. It’s also called the Gaussian distribution after the mathematician Carl Gauss, who first described it.

**Standard Normal Distribution:** A normal distribution with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1 is called a standard normal distribution. It’s used to construct tables of the normal distribution.

The bell curve is essential in statistics because many continuous variables in nature and psychology follow this pattern. Researchers often use it for significance tests and converting raw scores to z-scores.

**The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life**

The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life is a book written by political scientist Charles Murry and psychologist Richard Herrnstein.

**About the Book**

Purpose: The authors aimed to explain variations in intelligence within American society, highlight potential consequences of this variation, and propose social policies to mitigate negative effects.

Intelligence and Class Structure: The book argues that human intelligence is influenced by both inherited and environmental factors. It suggests that intelligence is a better predictor of personal outcomes (such as income, job performance, and involvement in crime) than parental socioeconomic status.

Cognitive Elite: The authors discuss the separation between individuals with high intelligence (the “cognitive elite”) and those with average or below-average intelligence. This separation contributes to social divisions in the United States.

**What I think is Important about the Bell Curve Distribution?**

I think it’s important to understand the way intelligence is distributed. People who could be considered geniuses are rare. A genius in terms of IQ is considered to be anything around the 145 mark and above. With some people reaching the 200 IQ range, which is extremely rare. There will only be a few individuals alive today that would have IQs in this range.

So, we will inevitably end up with average, or slightly above average minds running our political and economic systems. Average minds vastly outnumber great minds. Some people get in positions of power because they personally desire power and wish to control others. Because most people make shallow and quick judgments, which can lead to charismatic people gaining power. Often, style will win out over substance.

**Why is this simple and obvious truth overlooked?**

**Ignorance**

People are simply ignorant of how things are distributed. Really, it’s obvious if anyone cares to think about it for any period of time. Price’s Law and Pareto Distribution are connected to the bell curve and the way things are naturally distributed.

Most people obviously don’t like the idea that they are nowhere near as smart as they think they are. People also like to overestimate the importance of their own experience. This includes the importance of the people in their lives. This could be called ego-centralism. When confronted with the truth that they are not so important, such a concept will be discarded in order to preserve their self-image and egocentric belief.