What are equally likely events

Basic concepts of probability theory

Basics of Statistical Data Analysis pp 195-204 | Cite as

abstract

Probabilities give us the opportunity to talk about events that we are uncertain about whether they will occur. "Probable" events are events that can happen, but may also not occur. The concept of probability or chance expresses our knowledge that there are events that are beyond our conscious voluntary control and that cannot be foreseen by us with the help of knowledge about certain regular relationships. The concept of probability shares this property with the concept of fate, and it is therefore not surprising that in many languages ​​words for chance, luck or fate often have the same origin. In contrast to the arbitrariness of fate or “pure” chance, the concept of probability expresses - despite all uncertainty - an element of predictability. Even if certain events could not be predicted in concrete terms, i.e. in individual cases, it was already recognizable to the people of antiquity that they appeared in apparently fixed proportions. The most obvious of these "chance occurrences", which occurred in the equally obvious approximate proportion of 1/2 to 1/2, was the sex of a newborn.

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