h2 - Probability

h2 - Probability - Page 1 of 3 Stat 201 Handout (May 30,...

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Stat 201 Handout (May 30, 2003) Mad Cow Disease Example The following is the headline and first paragraph from a news report posted on May 26: Test results clear first Canadian herd of mad cow disease By EMMA TINKLER Associated Press TORONTO (AP) – Test results have cleared all other cattle in the original herd linked to North America’s first mad cow case in a decade, Canadian officials said Sunday. Click here to view the full news report (PDF). Q: Does this mean we are safe when consuming beef now? A: It depends on (1) how reliable is the lab test procedure, and (2) the proportion of infected animals among the herds. Lab tests are never 100% accurate. If the test procedure is reliable, the probability should be low for both false positives and false negatives . False positive : test says normal cow is mad False negative : test says mad cow is normal Unless we have a perfectly accurate test procedure, we can never find out the true state of an animal's health.
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h2 - Probability - Page 1 of 3 Stat 201 Handout (May 30,...

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