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8

Probability and

Rules on Probability

Chapter Outline

Introduction

Experiments, Outcomes

and Sample Spaces

Operations with Events

Probability of an Event

Rules on Probability

Probability

Introduction

In general, the word probability is used to define the chance of occurrence of an

event. A lot of people are familiar with probability from observing games of chance, such

as card games and lotteries.

Probability is not only used in games of chances. Predictions in the fields of

weather forecasting, investments, insurance, and other areas rely on probability. This

chapter introduces the basic concepts of probability and the different rules used to solve

problems involving probability.

An experiment or statistical experiment, is the process that when performed,

results in one and only one of many observations. These observations are called

outcomes. The collection of all outcomes for an experiment is called a sample space, and

is usually denoted by S .

Example 1

Determine the sample space in each experiment.

a. rolling a die once

b. tossing a coin twice

c. a coin is tossed until a tail or three heads appear

Solution

Example 2

A newly married couple is planning to have three children. List the

elements of the sample space S1 using the letter M for male and the

letter F for female. Define a second sample space S 2 where the

elements represent the number of females.

Solution

2

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

Example 3

An experiment involves tossing a pair of dice, 1 green and 1 red,

and recording the numbers that come up. If x equals the outcome on the

green die and y the outcome on the red die, describe the sample space.

Solution

An event is a subset of the sample space. If an event is a set containing only one

element of the sample space, then it is called a simple event. A compound event is one

that can be expressed as the union of simple events.

Two events A and B are mutually exclusive if they cannot occur together. Two

events are said to de independent if the occurrence of one does not affect the occurrence

of the other.

The null space or empty space is a subset of the sample space that contains no

elements. We denote this event by the symbol .

Example 4

For the sample space of Example 3,

a. List the elements corresponding to the event A that the sum is greater

than 8

b. List the elements corresponding to the event B that a 2 occurs on either

die.

c. List the elements corresponding to the event C that a number greater

than 4 comes up on the green die.

Solution

3

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

1. Intersection of Events

The intersection of two events A and B, denoted by the symbol A B , is the

event containing all elements that are common to A and B.

2. Union of Events

The union of two events A and B, denoted by the symbol A B , is the event

containing all the elements that belong to A or to B or to both.

3. Complement of an Event

The complement of an event A with respect to S is the set of all elements of S that

are not in A. We denote the complement of A by the symbol A' .

Example 5

For the sample space of Example 3,

a. List the elements corresponding to the event A C

b. List the elements corresponding to the event A B

c. List the elements corresponding to the event C'

Solution

Probability of an Event

Probability refers to the likelihood of occurrence of an event. There are three

approaches to probability. The subjective probability refers to the probability in which

chance of occurrence given by a particular person to an event is based on his/her

educated guesses, opinion, intuition or beliefs. The empirical probability is the one in

which probability is assigned based on the prior knowledge of the events that happened in

the past or based on research or experiment. The classical probability approach is applied

only when all possible outcomes are equally likely to happen, and the probability of an

event is equal to 1 divided by the total number of outcomes.

4

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

occur. The probability of an event always lies in the range 0 to 1. To every point in the

sample space we assign a probability such that the sum of all probabilities is 1.

The probability that an event E will occur is denoted by P( E ) and the

probability that it will not occur is denoted by P( E' ) . An event will either occur or not

occur. Hence, the sum of the probability of occurrence and the probability of

nonoccurrence is always equal to 1. That is,

P( E ) + P( E' ) = 1 .

event that cannot occur is zero.

If an experiment can result in N equally likely outcomes and an event E can

n

. More formally,

result in n outcomes then the probability that E will occur is

N

n( E )

P( E ) =

N

where n( E ) = number of sample points in E

N = total number of sample points in the sample space

Example 6

Find the errors in each of the following statements:

a. The probabilities that an automobile salesperson will sell 0, 1, 2, or 3

cars on any given day in February are, respectively, 0.19, 0.38, 0.29,

and 0.15.

b. The probability that it will rain tomorrow is 0.40 and the probability

that it will not rain tomorrow is 0.52.

c. The probabilities that a printer will make 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 or more

mistakes in printing a document are, respectively, 0.19, 0.34, -0.25,

0.43, and 0.29.

d. On a single draw from a deck of playing cards the probability of

selecting a heart is , the probability of selecting a black card is , and

the probability of selecting a black heart card is .

Solution

5

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

Example 7

a. Find the probability of getting an even number from a single roll

of a dice.

b. If a card is drawn from an ordinary deck, find the probability of

drawing

i. an ace

ii. a spade

iii. a face card

c. A box contains 5 red, 4 blue, and 3 white balls. If a ball is chosen at

random, what is the probability that

i. it is not red

ii. it is not white

Solution

Example 8

If a letter is chosen at random from the English alphabet, find the

probability that the letter

a. is a vowel;

b. precedes the letter j;

c. follows the letter g.

Solution

6

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

Example 9

A box contains 5 red, 4 blue, and 3 white balls. Suppose three balls

are drawn at random. What is the probability that

a. they are of different colors?

b. they are all red?

c. two are blue, one is white?

d. exactly two are blue?

e. none is blue?

Solution

Example 10

a. A die is loaded in such a way that an even number is twice as likely to

occur as an odd number. If E is an event that a number less than 4

occurs on a single toss of the die, find P( E ) .

b. Three men are seeking public office. Candidates A and B are given

about the same chance of winning, but candidate C is given twice the

chance of either A or B.

i. What is the probability that C wins?

ii. What is the probability that A does not win?

Solution

7

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

Example 11

If a permutation of the word white is selected at random, find

the probability that the permutation

a. begins with a consonant;

b. ends with a vowel;

c. has the consonants and vowels alternating.

Solution

Example 12

If 3 books are picked at random from a shelf containing 5 novels, 3 book

of poems, and a dictionary, what is the probability that

a. the dictionary is selected?

b. 2 novels and 1 book of poems are selected?

Solution

Rules on Probability

Theorem 1 (Addition Rule) If A and B are any two events, then

P( A B ) = P( A ) + P( B ) P( A B ) .

P( A B ) = P( A ) + P( B ) .

8

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

P( A1 A2 . . . An ) = P( A1 ) + P( A2 ) + . . . + P( An ) .

Theorem 2 If A and A are complementary events, then

P( A ) + P( A' ) = 1 .

Example 13

In a college graduating class of 100 students, 54 studied mathematics, 69

studied history, and 35 studied both mathematics and history. If one of

these students is selected at random, find the probability that

a. the student took mathematics or history;

b. the student did not take any of these courses;

c. the student took history but not mathematics.

Solution

Example 14

If A, B, and C are mutually exclusive events and P(A) = 0.2, P(B) = 0.3,

and P(C) = 0.4, find

a. P(A B C)

b. P[A (B C)]

c. P(B C)

Solution

Example 15

The probability that an American industry will locate in Manila is

0.7, the probability that it will locate in Baguio is 0.4, and the probability

that it will locate in either Manila or Baguio is 0.8. What is the probability

that the industry will locate in both cities?

Solution

9

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

The probability of an event B occurring when it is known that some event A has

occurred is called a conditional probability and is denoted by P(B|A).

The probability of B, given A, denoted by P(B|A), is defined by the equation

P( B / A ) =

P( A B )

P( A )

if P(A) > 0

and P(A|B) = P(A)

P(B|A) = P(B)

Otherwise, A and B are dependent.

Theorem 4 (Multiplicative Rule) If in an experiment the events A and B can both

occur, then

P(A B) = P(A) P(B|A)

Theorem 5 If A and B are independent events, then

P(A B) = P(A) P(B)

Theorem 6 (Generalized Multiplicative Rule)

If, in an experiment, the events A1, A2, A3, . . . , Ak can occur, then

P(A1 A2 A3 . . . Ak)

=

P(A1) P(A2|A1) P(A3|A1 A2) . . . P(Ak| A1 A2 A3 . . . Ak-1)

P(A1 A2 A3 . . . Ak) = P(A1) P(A2) P(A3) . . . P(Ak)

Example 16

If R is the event that a convict committed armed robbery and D is

the event that the convict pushed dope, state in words what probabilities

are expressed by

a. P(R|D)

b. P(D|R)

c. P(R|D)

Solution

10

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

Example 17

A random sample of 200 adults are classified below by sex and

their level of education attained.

Gender

Education

Male

Female

Elementary

38

45

Secondary

28

50

College

22

17

If a person is picked at random from this group, find the probability that

a. the person is a male, given that the person has secondary

education;

b. the person does not have a college degree , given that the person

is a female.

Solution

Example 18

The probability that an automobile being filled with gasoline will

also need an oil change is 0.25; the probability that it needs a new oil

filter is 0.40; and the probability that both the oil and filter need changing

is 0.14.

a. If the oil had to be changed, what is the probability that a new

oil filter is needed?

b. If a new oil filter is needed, what is the probability that the oil

had to be changed?

Solution

11

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

Example 19

The probability that a doctor correctly diagnoses a particular

illness is 0.7. Given that the doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis, the

probability that the patient enters a lawsuit is 0.9. What is the probability

that the doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis and the patient sues?

Solution

Example 20

A town has two fire engines operating independently. The

probability that a specific fire engine is available when needed is 0.96.

a. What is the probability that neither engine is available when needed?

b. What is the probability that a fire engine is available when needed?

Solution

Example 21

Find the probability of selecting four good quarts of milk in

succession from a cooler containing 20 quarts of which 5 have spoiled.

Solution

If the events B1, B2, . . . , Bk constitute a partition of the sample space S where

P(Bi) 0 for i= 1, 2, . . . , k, then for any event A in S such that P(A) 0,

P(A) = P(B1 A) + P(B2 A) + . . . + P(Bk A)

= P(B1) P(A|B1) + P(B2) P(A|B2) + . . . + P(Bk) P(A|Bk)

P(Bi /A) = P( Bi I A )

P( A )

12

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

Probability

Example 22

In a certain region of the country it is known from past experience

that the probability of selecting an adult over 40 years of age with cancer

is 0.05. If the probability of a doctor correctly diagnosing a person with

cancer as having the disease is 0.78, and the probability of incorrectly

diagnosing a person without cancer as having the disease is 0.06,

a. What is the probability that a person is diagnosed as having

cancer?

b. What is the probability that a person diagnosed as having

cancer actually has the disease?

Solution

Example 23

Suppose that colored balls are distributed in three

indistinguishable boxes as follows:

Boxes

1

2

3

Red

2

4

3

White

3

1

4

Blue

5

3

3

A box is selected at random from which a ball is drawn at random.

a. Find the probability that the ball is red.

b. Given that the ball is red, what is the probability that box 3 is

selected?

Solution

13

Lecture Notes in Probability and Statistics

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