“Dealing” With the Central Limit Theorem

David Matz, Emily Hause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe an easy-to-employ, hands-on demonstration using playing cards to illustrate the central limit theorem. This activity allows students to see how a collection of sample means drawn from a nonnormally distributed population will be normally distributed. Students who took part in the demonstration reported it to be helpful in understanding the theorem, enjoyable, and worthwhile. An analysis of open-ended exam questions indicated that students who participated in this demonstration possessed greater understanding of the central limit theorem than those who participated in an alternate demonstration and those who witnessed a standard presentation on the central limit theorem that included no demonstration.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalTeaching of Psychology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Psychology

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