Continuous Probability Distributions


After completing the chapter, you should be able to

  1. Distinguish between discrete and continuous probability distributions.
  2. Assign probabilities in a uniform distribution.
  3. Describe key characteristics of the normal distribution and produce normal distribution probabilities.
  4. Describe key characteristics of the exponential distribution and produce exponential distribution probabilities.



Heads or Tails

In 2011, the album 21 by Adele sold 5 million copies in the United States. Impressive, but less so when compared to the big album successes of the past. In the year 2000, N'Sync sold close to 10 million copies of No Strings Attached and in 1999 the Backstreet Boys racked up more than 9 million sales of Millennium.

Why are albums selling fewer copies than in the past? Certainly file-sharing and digital distribution have something to do with it. But part of the explanation also lies in the enormous variety of music that is now easily available. Music fans have thousands more albums at their fingertips than they did just 10 or 20 years ago, and much more exposure to music beyond the “megahits.”

Prior to the expansion of Internet commerce, the limited storage capacity of bricks-and-mortar record stores caused the music industry to focus on selling millions of copies of a relatively few megahits. ...

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