nor·mal / ˈnôrməl/ • adj. 1. conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected: it's quite normal for puppies to bolt their food | normal working hours. ∎ (of a person) free from physical or mental disorders. 2. technical (of a line, ray, or other linear feature) intersecting a given line or surface at right angles. 3. Med. (of a salt solution) containing the same salt concentration as the blood. ∎ dated Chem. (of a solution) containing one gram-equivalent of solute per liter. 4. Geol. denoting a fault or faulting in which a relative downward movement occurred in the strata situated on the upper side of the fault plane. • n. 1. the usual, average, or typical state or condition: her temperature was above normal | the service will be back to normal next week. ∎ a person who is physically or mentally healthy. 2. technical a line at right angles to a given line or surface. DERIVATIVES: nor·mal·cy / -məlsē/ n. nor·mal·i·ty / nôrˈmalitē/ n.
Represents the characteristics that are typical for— that is, exhibited by—most members of a particular group.
For statistical purposes, normal means whatever is average for a given group of people ("the norm"). Therefore, the term normal does include those group members who deviate significantly from the measures of central tendency (the mean , the median , or the mode ) of a given distribution.
The term normal is fundamentally statistical and quantitative. In testing and measuring, for example, normal can be defined as a central cluster of scores in relation to a larger grouping. In intelligence testing normal is also defined by the average, or mean, which is established as an IQ score of around 100.
However, in many contexts normal is a subjective term that is very difficult to define. In the absence of fixed standards, normal and abnormal are often defined in terms of each other. However, rather than a simple pairing of opposites, they are generally thought of as points on a continuum of social adjustment, with normal people possessing certain positive traits to a greater degree, while abnormal people are characterized by deficiencies in these traits. Some of the traits that help define psychological normalcy are efficient perception of reality; self-knowledge; self-control; ability to form affectionate relationships; self-esteem ; and productivity. The notion of defining normalcy in terms of social adjustment has its detractors, who argue that such a definition places too much emphasis on conformity and too little on such traits as individuality and creativity .
Martin, David W. Doing Psychology Experiments. 2nd ed. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1985.
Berman, Simeon M. Mathematical Statistics: An Introduction Based on the Normal Distribution. Scranton, PA: Intext Educational Publishers, 1971.
nor·mal·ize / ˈnôrməˌlīz/ • v. 1. [tr.] bring or return to a normal condition or state: Vietnam and China agreed to normalize diplomatic relations in 1991 | [intr.] the situation had normalized. 2. [tr.] (often be normalized) Math. multiply (a series, function, or item of data) by a factor that makes the norm or some associated quantity such as an integral equal to a desired value (usually 1). ∎ Comput. (in floating-point representation) express (a number) in the standard form with regard to the position of the radix point, usually immediately preceding the first nonzero digit. DERIVATIVES: nor·mal·i·za·tion / ˌnôrmələˈzāshən/ n. nor·mal·iz·er n.
Normal ★★ 2003
No guts, no glory. And both Wilkinson and Lange had to have guts to make this story work. Roy and Irma Applewood (Wilkinson, Lange) have been married for 25 years and are respected church-going members of their small Illinois farming community. Chronic headaches and stress have Roy seeking counseling—and finally admitting that he has always felt like a woman trapped in a man's body. He's determined to undergo sex-change surgery and tells Irma that he still loves her and wants them to continue living together. Irma's not unreasonably confused, resentful, angry, and, ultimately, loving and supportive as the community turns its back on Roy and his family. Adapted from Anderson's play “Looking for Normal.” 108m/C VHS, DVD . Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Lange, Hayden Panettiere, Joe Sikora, Clancy Brown, Richard Bull, Randall Arney, Mary Seibel; D: Jane Anderson; W: Jane Anderson; C: Alar Kivilo; M: Alex Wurman.
Nor·mal / ˈnôrməl/ a town in central Illinois, home to Illinois State University (originally a normal, or teachers, school); pop. 40,023.