Tuesday, 8 May 2012

'The Bell Curve Is A Myth...'

'It's a long-held assumption that human performance fits a normal (or Gaussian) distribution — a bell curve in which only a very small number of people are outliers.

Consequently human resource managers usually work from the idea that in most activities, although there are a few people that are very good and a few people that are very bad, most are about average.

A new study provides evidence that individual performance doesn't fit on a bell curve (with its stable average and limited variance), but follows a distribution in which the average is unstable, the variance is infinite and the prevalence of outliers is much higher.

Statisticians called it a power law (or Paretian) distribution.

Researchers Ernest O'Boyle Jr. and Herman Aguinis conducted five studies involving 633,263 researchers, entertainers, politicians, and athletes. Of a total of 198 samples of performers, 186 (a whopping 94 percent) followed a power law distribution more closely than a normal distribution.....'

power law

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