ch04 - blu03683_ch04.qxd 12:45 PM Page 171 CHAPTE R 4...

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4–1 Objectives After completing this chapter, you should be able to 1 Determine sample spaces and find the probability of an event, using classical probability or empirical probability. 2 Find the probability of compound events, using the addition rules. 3 Find the probability of compound events, using the multiplication rules. 4 Find the conditional probability of an event. 5 Find the total number of outcomes in a sequence of events, using the fundamental counting rule. 6 Find the number of ways that r objects can be selected from n objects, using the permutation rule. 7 Find the number of ways that r objects can be selected from n objects without regard to order, using the combination rule. 8 Find the probability of an event, using the counting rules. Outline 4–1 Introduction 4–2 Sample Spaces and Probability 4–3 The Addition Rules for Probability 4–4 The Multiplication Rules and Conditional Probability 4–5 Counting Rules 4–6 Probability and Counting Rules 4–7 Summary 4 4 Probability and Counting Rules C H A P T E R
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172 Chapter 4 Probability and Counting Rules 4–2 Statistics Today Would You Bet Your Life? Humans not only bet money when they gamble, but also bet their lives by engaging in unhealthy activities such as smoking, drinking, using drugs, and exceeding the speed limit when driving. Many people don’t care about the risks involved in these activities since they do not understand the concepts of probability. On the other hand, people may fear activities that involve little risk to health or life because these activities have been sensationalized by the press and media. In his book Probabilities in Everyday Life (Ivy Books, p. 191), John D. McGervey states When people have been asked to estimate the frequency of death from various causes, the most overestimated categories are those involving pregnancy, tornadoes, floods, fire, and homicide. The most underestimated categories include deaths from diseases such as diabetes, strokes, tuberculosis, asthma, and stomach cancer (although cancer in general is overestimated). The question then is, Would you feel safer if you flew across the United States on a commercial airline or if you drove? How much greater is the risk of one way to travel over the other? See Statistics Today—Revisited at the end of the chapter for the answer. In this chapter, you will learn about probability—its meaning, how it is computed, and how to evaluate it in terms of the likelihood of an event actually happening. 4–1 Introduction A cynical person once said, “The only two sure things are death and taxes.” This philos- ophy no doubt arose because so much in people’s lives is affected by chance. From the time a person awakes until he or she goes to bed, that person makes decisions regarding the possible events that are governed at least in part by chance. For example, should I carry an umbrella to work today? Will my car battery last until spring? Should I accept that new job?
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Probability as a general concept can be defined as the chance of an event occurring.
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