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In another word, probability is a value between 0 and 1,

inclusive, describing relative possibility/chance
or likelihood an event will occur.


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There are three definitions of probability: classical,

empirical, and subjective.

applies when
there are n
equally likely

The Empirical
(Also called relative
definition applies
when the number of
times the event
happens is divided
by the number of

probability is
based on

Definitions continued

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i.e. an experiment is the activity that produces an event.


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An Outcome is
the particular
result of an
An Event is
the collection
of one or more
outcomes of an

Experiment: A fair die is cast.

Possible outcomes: The

numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
One possible event: The
occurrence of an even
number. That is, we collect
the outcomes 2, 4, and 6.
Definitions continued

Events are Mutually

Exclusive if the
occurrence of any one
event means that none
of the others can occur
at the same time. i.e. if
one and only one can
take place at a time.
Mutually exclusive:
On any toss of a coin,
either head or tail
may turn up. Not

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Events are Independent

if the occurrence of one event
does not affect the occurrence
of another.
Independence: Rolling a 2
on the first throw does not
influence the probability of
a 3 on the next throw. It is
still a one in 6 chance.
Mutually Exclusive Events

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If two events
A and B are mutually
exclusive, the

Special Rule of
Addition states that the
Probability of A or B
occurring equals the sum of
their respective

P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B)

Basic Rules of Probability

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The Complement Rule is used to determine the

probability of an event occurring by subtracting the
probability of the event not occurring from 1.

If P(A) is the probability of event A and P(~A) is

the complement of A,
P(A) + P(~A) = 1 or P(A) = 1 - P(~A).

The Complement Rule

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If A and B are two

events that are not
mutually exclusive,
then P(A or B) is
given by the
following formula:

P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B) - P(A and B)

The General Rule of Addition

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The Venn Diagram illustrates this rule:

A and B

The General Rule of


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In a sample of 500 students, 320 said they had a

stereo, 175 said they had a TV, and 100 said they had
both. 5 said they had neither.





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A Joint Probability measures the likelihood

that two or more events will happen concurrently.

An example would
be the event that a
student has both a
stereo and TV in his
or her dorm room.

Joint Probability

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A Conditional Probability is the

probability of a particular event occurring,
given that another event has occurred.

The probability of event A occurring

given that the event B has occurred is
written P(A|B).
Formula: P(A/B) = P(AB) /P(B)

Conditional Probability

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The General

Rule of
Multiplication is
used to find the joint
probability that two
events will occur.

It states that for two

events A and B, the
joint probability that
both events will happen
is found by multiplying
the probability that
event A will happen by
the conditional
probability of B given
that A has occurred.
General Multiplication Rule

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The joint probability,

P(A and B), is given by the
following formula:
P(A and B) = P(A)P(B/A)
P(A and B) =
General Multiplication