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Chapter 5 EXCEL Procedure (Binomial Probability Calculation)

From William E. Becker, Statistics for Business and Economics Using Microsoft Excel 97, S.R.B. Publishing, 1997, p. 182. Reproduced with permission of S.R.B. Publishing. QUERY 5.1 A multiple choice test has four unrelated questions. Each question has five possible choices but only one is correct. Thus, a person who guesses randomly has a probability of 0.2 of guessing correctly. Draw a tree diagram showing the different ways in which a test taker could get 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 correct answers. Sketch the probability mass function for this test. What is the probability a person who guesses will get two or more correct? ANSWER: Letting Y stand for a correct answer and N a wrong answer, where the probability of Y is 0.2 and of N is 0.8 for each of the four questions, the probability tree diagram is shown in the textbook on page 182. This probability tree diagram shows the "branches" that must be followed to show the calculations captured in the binomial mass function for n = 4 and = 0.2. For example, the tree diagram shows the six different branch systems that yield two correct and two wrong answers (which corresponds to 4!/2!2! = 6). The binomial mass function shows the probability of two correct answers as P(x=2|n=4,pie=0.2) = 6(.2)2(.8)2 = 6(0.0256) = 0.1536 = P(2) WHICH IS OBTAINED FROM EXCEL BY USING THE "BINOMDIST" COMMAND, WHERE THE FIRST ENTRY IS x, THE SECOND IS n, AND THE THIRD IS MASS (0) OR CUMULATIVE (1); THAT IS, ENTERING =BINOMDIST(2,4,0.2,0) IN ANY EXCEL CELL YIELDS 0.1536 AND =BINOMDIST(3,4,0.2,0) YIELDS P(x=3|n=4,pie=0.2) = 0.0256 =BINOMDIST(4,4,0.2,0) YIELDS P(x=4|n=4,pie=0.2) = 0.0016 =1-BINOMDIST(1,4,0.2,1) YIELDS P(x greater than or equal to 2|n=4,pie=0.2) = 0.1808 Go to: Examples of EXCEL Use Statistics for Business and Economics WWW Page