Bimodal Distribution: Definition & Example

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  • 0:00 What Is Bimodal Distribution?
  • 0:43 Other Distributions
  • 1:14 Bimodal Distribution Example
  • 1:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lance Cain
Graphs can reveal trends and 'points of interests' like maximum and minimum values. In this lesson we are going to examine a particular phenomenon called Bimodal Distribution and demonstrate what that looks like on a graph.

What Is Bimodal Distribution?

When looking at the graph seen here, the definition of bimodal distribution may become clear.

You'll notice that the graph has two distinct humps or peaks, with a valley separating them. The prefix bi means two, so a graph with two peaks is called bimodal. Each peak is a local maximum since they represent the highest values relative to the data points immediately surrounding them. The valley between these peaks is called a local minimum. Bimodal distributions come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have the same thing in common; each graph has two distinctive maxima with a relative minimum between.

Other Distributions

Not all graphs have two high points separated by a relative low point. In fact some graphs, like a straight line, may not have any peaks or valleys. But, graphs could have one, two, three, or more peaks and valleys. We've already seen that a two-peak graph is a bimodal distribution. What would a graph with just one peak be called? You guessed it, a unimodal distribution. And, what if a graph had three or more peaks? They are called multimodal distributions.

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