# Chapter 3: Probability (Part 1)

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1 Chapter 3: Probability (Part 1) 3.1: Basic Concepts of Probability and Counting Types of Probability There are at least three different types of probability Subjective Probability is found through people s beliefs about the world. You may think that there is a one in ten chance that your team will win the game; you may believe that there is a 90% chance that it will rain today. Since this type of probability varies from person to person, it isn t very useful. Empirical Probability is found through actual observations (empirical evidence). An activity is repeated and the results are noted. After doing this a few times, you can then find the empirical probability that something will happen. This is a very useful method, and its formulas are similar to the following method Theoretical Probability is found by thinking about the possible outcomes of an activity and counting how many ways something can happen. Since the formulas for Empirical and Theoretical Probability are basically the same, I ll just walk through Theoretical Probability. Definitions We need to start with some vocabulary so that you know what I m talking about! Random Experiment: any activity with a random (unpredictable) result that can be measured. Trial: one repetition of a random experiment. Outcome: a particular result of a random experiment. Event: a group of outcomes that are somehow related. Universe: the set of all outcomes for an experiment. Also called the Sample Space. With these definitions, we may now define the Probability of an Event: number of outcomes in event E P E. number of outcomes in the universe Note that this definition only works if the universe is listed in such a way that every outcome is equally likely. The way to make sure that this is true is to be very specific about listing the events in the universe! Probability Rules There is a direct consequence of this definition of probability. Since the numerator of that fraction is a count, it cannot be negative. Also, since the universe is always bigger than an event (maybe I should say an event is never bigger than the universe), the numerator can never be bigger than the denominator which means that the fraction must be no larger than one. Thus, the probability of an event must be a number between 0 and 1 (inclusive). HOLLOMAN S PROBABILITY & STATISTICS PS CHAPTER 03A, PAGE 1 OF 7

2 The Fundamental Counting Principle If an event is composed of a series of smaller, simpler steps, and the number of ways that each step can be completed does not depend on the result of a previous step, then you can multiply the number of ways each step can be completed to arrive at the total number of ways the event can happen (whew!). For example, let s say that you re picking out an outfit for Tacky Day. You have five shirts, three pairs of pants, ten different pairs of socks, and eight pairs of shoes. How many ways can you get dressed (assuming one of each type of thing)? Since the number of choices of pants does not depend on exactly which pair of pants you ve chosen, we can use the Fundamental Counting Principle (5)(3)(10)(8) = Complements The Complement of an Event: the set of outcomes that do not belong to the event. Think of this as the opposite of the event. The key word to look for is not. There is the connection between the probability of an event, and the probability of the event s P not A 1 P A. This makes sense if you think about it for a second: the event complement: and its complement must completely use up the universe, so their probabilities must add up to the probability of the universe and the probability of the universe is always 1. Examples [1.] List the sample space for rolling a die. Which outcomes belong to the event A prime number is rolled? The sample space is 1,2,3,4,5,6, and the event A prime number is 2,3,5. [2.] A bag contains four marbles one each of red, white, blue, and black. Two marbles are randomly withdrawn. List the sample space for this experiment. Which outcomes belong to the event At least one marble is red? I ll use a single letter for each color lowercase b for blue, and uppercase B for black. The universe is rw, rb, rb, wb, wb, bb. The event at least one marble is red is rw, rb, rb. [3.] List the sample space for rolling two dice. Which outcomes belong to the event The sum of the pips is ten? This universe is a bit larger I m going to show it as a table. Table 1 - The Universe for Example 3 1, 1 1, 2 1, 3 1, 4 1, 5 1, 6 2, 1 2, 2 2, 3 2, 4 2, 5 2, 6 3, 1 3, 2 3, 3 3, 4 3, 5 3, 6 4, 1 4, 2 4, 3 4, 4 4, 5 4, 6 5, 1 5, 2 5, 3 5, 4 5, 5 5, 6 6, 1 6, 2 6, 3 6, 4 6, 5 6, 6 HOLLOMAN S PROBABILITY & STATISTICS PS CHAPTER 03A, PAGE 2 OF 7

3 The event the sum of the pips is ten is 4,6, 5,5, 6,4. [4.] When rolling a single die, what is the probability that the result is a four? There is one way to get a four and six ways to roll the die, so the probability is % 6. [5.] You, a friend, and three other people have backstage passes to a concert. The band will randomly choose one of the group to receive a special gift. What is the probability that the person chosen is either you or your friend? There are a total of five people, so there are five ways that the gift can be given. There are two ways that either you or your friend receive the gift. Thus, the probability is % 5. [6.] You ve bought five tickets to a school raffle (you re hoping to win a large flat screen TV). Exactly 1000 raffle tickets have been sold one of those tickets will win the TV. What is the probability that you will be the winner? There are 1000 ways that the winning raffle ticket can be drawn, and five of those result in 5 you as the winner thus, the probability of winning is % [7.] When rolling two dice, what is the probability that the sum of the pips is at less than four? Look back at the earlier example for the universe with two dice. In that universe, there are three outcomes where the sum of the pips is less than four. Thus, the probability is % [8.] A bag contains five marbles three are red and two are white. Two marbles are randomly withdrawn from the bag. What is the probability that both of them are red? Be careful with this universe! I ll use subscripts to keep track of the multiple marbles. The r, r, r, r, r, w, r, w, r, r, r, w, r, w, r, w, r, w, w, w. universe is There are ten ways to draw the marbles, and three of them where both are red thus, the probability is % 10. [9.] As cars passed by a dealership, the manufacturer was noted. The results are shown in the pie chart below. HOLLOMAN S PROBABILITY & STATISTICS PS CHAPTER 03A, PAGE 3 OF 7

4 % of usage in US Honda (4) Toyota (3) Figure 1 - Car Data for Example 9 Volkswagen (3) One of these cars is randomly selected. What is the probability that it was made by Honda? Of the ten cars, four were made by Honda, so the probability is % 10. [10.] The sources of energy in the US are displayed in the bar chart below. Energy Sources in the US Figure 2 - Energy Data for Example 10 Oil Gas Coal Nuclear Hydropower Other Energy Source If an energy user is selected at random, what is the approximate probability that Oil is the energy source? If you check, you ll see that those percentages add up to close to 100%. Of those, about 39% were for Oil so the probability is 39%. 3.3: The Addition Rule Unions What if we want the probability for one event or the other? Now, this isn t like the word or in English it doesn t mean one or the other (but not both). The math word for that is XOR (exclusive or). When we say or in math, we mean one event, or the other, or both. HOLLOMAN S PROBABILITY & STATISTICS PS CHAPTER 03A, PAGE 4 OF 7

5 This type of combination of events is called a union, and the key word to look for is (you guessed it!) or. P A or B P A P B P A and B Note the subtraction there when you add P(A) and P(B), you might be adding some outcomes twice (perhaps there are outcomes that belong to both A and B!); thus, you must subtract the probability that they both happen at the same time. Here s a Venn Diagram of the union: Figure 3 - The Union of two Events Mutually Exclusive If there is no intersection, then the events are called mutually exclusive, or disjoint. Another way to say this is that events are mutually exclusive if there is no way that they can both happen in a single measurement. Examples [11.] A die is rolled. Are the events The die shows a 1 and The die shows a 2 mutually exclusive? There s no way (in this Universe!) that a die can show two different results at the same time thus, these events are mutually exclusive. [12.] Two dice are rolled. Are the events One die shows a 1 and One die shows a 2 mutually exclusive? Now that there are two dice, it is possible for one of them to show a 1 and the other to show a 2 thus, these events are not mutually exclusive. [13.] Bob and Dave each have a ticket for the upcoming PowerBall drawing. Are the events Bob s numbers win the jackpot and Dave s numbers win the jackpot mutually exclusive? Since it is possible for Bob and Dave to have picked the same numbers, these events are not mutually exclusive. [14.] Chris is eating M&M s one at a time. Are the events The M&M is red and The M&M is green mutually exclusive? HOLLOMAN S PROBABILITY & STATISTICS PS CHAPTER 03A, PAGE 5 OF 7

6 Unless you ve got a really weird M&M, these events are mutually exclusive. I can say that I ve never seen a naturally occurring double-colored M&M [15.] In a batch of snack mix, 20% of the items are pretzels and 10% of the items are granola clusters. What percentage of the mix is either pretzels or granola clusters? Since granola and pretzels are mutually exclusive, you can just add. The percentage is 30%. [16.] At a certain high school, fifteen percent of the students are classified as Seniors and 20% are classified as Juniors. What percent of the students at this school are either Juniors or Seniors? Since you can t be both a Senior and a Junior, just add the percentages. 35% are either Juniors or Seniors. [17.] In a standard deck of 52 cards there are 26 red cards. Four of the cards are Kings, and two of the Kings are red. What percentage of the cards are either red or Kings? Now it is possible to have a King that is red! There are 26 red cards and 4 Kings, for a total of 30 but two of those cards just got counted twice! Thus, there are 28 total ways to select a card that is either red or a King. The percentage is % [18.] At one point, the population of the US was divided amongst the following regions: Table 2 - Region Data for Example 18 Region Northeast Midwest South West Percent If a US resident was chosen at random, what is the probability that they lived in either the Northeast or the Midwest? Assuming that you can t live in two regions at once (which is supported by the fact that the percentages add to 100%), the probability of living in one of these two regions can be found by adding thus, it is 42.1%. [19.] Records concerning injuries (units are millions of people) treated at hospitals reveal the following data: Table 3 - Gender and Location Data for Example 19 Gender / Location Work Home Other Male Female What is the probability that an injury was either reported by a female or was reported to be a work injury? There are 25.8 million women in the records, and there are 9.3 million work related claims but adding those numbers would double-count the 1.3 million women who reported an HOLLOMAN S PROBABILITY & STATISTICS PS CHAPTER 03A, PAGE 6 OF 7

7 injury from work! Thus, there are 33.8 million people in the event, and 61.4 million people in the records, making the probability % [20.] A survey of the political affiliation of US Governors gave the following results: Dem (17) Ind (2) Rep (31) Figure 4 - Political Data for Example 20 What is the probability that a randomly selected Governor is either Democratic or Republican? There are 50 ways to choose a Governor, and 48 ways to choose one that is either Democratic or Republican thus, the probability is % HOLLOMAN S PROBABILITY & STATISTICS PS CHAPTER 03A, PAGE 7 OF 7

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