# Thinking about shapes of distributions | Data and statistics | 6th grade | Khan Academy | Summary and Q&A

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February 12, 2015
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## TL;DR

Different shapes of distributions can be described using terms like right-tailed, left-tailed, symmetrical, skewed to the right, and skewed to the left.

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### Q: What does it mean for a distribution to be right-tailed?

A right-tailed distribution means that the distribution has a tail to the right, indicating fewer values as the variable increases. It is not symmetrical and might have values concentrated on the lower end.

### Q: How do you determine if a distribution is approximately symmetrical?

In an approximately symmetrical distribution, if a line of symmetry is drawn, the two sides would roughly match each other. Folding the distribution along the line of symmetry would align the two sides.

### Q: What is the difference between a left-tailed distribution and a distribution skewed to the left?

A left-tailed distribution has a tail going towards the left side, indicating fewer values as the variable decreases. A distribution skewed to the left means that the mean is to the left of the median and mode, or the tail is concentrated on the left side.

### Q: How can a box and whiskers plot be used to describe the shape of a distribution?

A box and whiskers plot provides information about quartiles and the median of a distribution. By analyzing the plot, one can make inferences about the shape of the distribution. For example, a longer whisker on the left side may indicate a tail to the left.

## Summary & Key Takeaways

• The video explores how to describe the shapes of distributions using terms like right-tailed, left-tailed, symmetrical, skewed to the right, and skewed to the left.

• The speaker uses examples of histograms and box plots to illustrate different shapes of distributions and how they can be described.

• The concept of symmetry in distributions is discussed, with the example of a symmetrical distribution having a line of symmetry where both sides are mirror images of each other.