Empirical and Mathematical ProbabilitiesDate: 12/04/98 at 15:16:23 From: Kristin M. Dettman Subject: Probability What is the difference between experimental probability and mathematical probability? Date: 12/04/98 at 16:45:02 From: Doctor Bill Subject: Re: Probability Kristin, I don't know what "experimental" probability is, but I think you might mean "empirical" probability. Empirical probability means that you don't know anything about how an event behaves, i.e. what are the number of possible outcomes and what are the number of possible successes. So to find the probability of an event, you have to do the experiment many times to get an idea, or look at some data related to the event. As an example: "How much longer will a man who is 50 years old live?" There is no way to know the answer to this question without looking at a mortality table and noting the ages of men who have died, and drawing some conclusion from those data. This is called empirical (or posteriori) probability. Mathematical (or priori) probability is based on the fact that you know the number of possible outcomes and the number of possible successes. For example, flip a coin. What is the probability of a head? You know it is 1/2 because you know the number of possible outcomes and the number of successes. Roll a die. What is the probability of a 4? You know it is 1/6 because you know there are 6 possible outcomes and only 1 possible success. These results are based on mathematical probability. - Doctor Bill, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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