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Published byJudith Cross Modified over 8 years ago

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**Created by Michele Hinkle and Jeffrey Fries March 2005**

Probability Created by Michele Hinkle and Jeffrey Fries March 2005

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**Definitions Event: Something that may or may not happen. Probability:**

The chance of an event happening. Impossible: An event that can never happen. Certain: An event that must happen.

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**The Probability Continuum**

If an event has a probability of ½, some people say that there is a chance that the event will happen. unlikely likely impossible 1/2 equally likely 1 certain

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**Making Predictions: Suppose you flip a coin 20 times**

Making Predictions: Suppose you flip a coin 20 times. How many times will it land heads up? When you know the probability of an event, you can use this probability to make a prediction.

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Since the probability of a coin landing heads up is 1/2, you can predict that if you flip a coin 20 times, it will probably land heads up ½ of 20, or 10 times. There is no guarantee that this will actually happen, but it is a reasonable prediction.

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**Example: Describe the likelihood of picking a green egg from the bag.**

Since all the eggs are green, any egg you choose will be green. You are certain to pick a green egg. 4 Number of favorable outcomes 4 Number of possible outcomes

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**Since no eggs are green, whichever egg you choose will not be green**

Since no eggs are green, whichever egg you choose will not be green. It is impossible to pick a green egg. Number of favorable outcomes 4 Number of possible outcomes

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**2 of the 4 eggs, or ½ of the eggs are green**

2 of the 4 eggs, or ½ of the eggs are green. You have an equally likely chance of picking a green egg as not picking a green egg. 2 Number of favorable outcomes 4 Number of possible outcomes

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It is unlikely, but not impossible, that you will pick a green egg from the bag that has only one green egg. 1 Number of favorable outcomes 4 Number of possible outcomes

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It is likely, but not certain, that you will pick a green egg from the bag that has three green eggs. 4 Number of favorable outcomes 5 Number of possible outcomes

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**The Probability Continuum**

unlikely likely impossible 1/2 equally likely 1 certain

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