GAUSS function

The GAUSS function returns the probability that a random variable, drawn from a normal distribution, will be between the mean and z standard deviations above (or below) the mean. A normal distribution is also commonly known as a Gaussian distribution, from which this function gets its name.

Parts of a GAUSS formula

GAUSS(z)

Part Description Notes
z The number of standard deviations from the mean.
  • The parameter represents how far away from the mean a random variable might fall.
  • A normal distribution is characterized by a mean (μ) and a standard deviation (z * σ).

Sample formulas

GAUSS(1)

GAUSS(B2)

Notes

  • A negative z value causes GAUSS(z) to return a negative number.
  • When z uses the value in another cell (e.g. "GAUSS(B2)"), the GAUSS function returns 0 if there's no data in the cell.
  • Calling GAUSS(z) asks the question, "what's the probability that a random number will be between μ and the standard deviation z * σ?"

Examples

  A B C
1 Function Result Comment
2 =GAUSS(1) 0.3413447461 Probability that a variable falls between the mean and 1 standard deviation above the mean.
3 =GAUSS(-1) -0.3413447461 Probability that a variable falls between the mean and 1 standard deviation below the mean. Note that the result is negative.
4 =2*GAUSS(1) 0.6826894921 Probability that a variable falls within 1 standard deviation of the mean.

Related function

NORMDIST: The NORMDIST function returns the value of the normal distribution function (or normal cumulative distribution function) for a specified value, mean, and standard deviation.

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