Probability in Statistics: Desired Result’ Occurrence

Theoretical Probability

Theoretical probability is one of the most commonly applied types of probability in statistics, especially in real-life situations. Theoretical probability refers to the possibility of a desirable outcome occurring; hence, one has to define the desirable outcome (Bennett et al. 214). The probability of an event occurring is calculated by dividing the number of desirable outcomes by the total number of outcomes in the event.

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P (event) = number of desirable events/ total number of outcomes.

I have experienced theoretical probability both personally and professionally. One of the memorable experiences is when I volunteered for a charity program helping homeless people with food and shelter. I was scheduled in a team that had to serve food to the homeless and clean up the dishes after the meal. The leader in charge needed to select three teams of five members each to handle the respective tasks in the program. Team A would serve the food, while team B would serve the drinks, and team C would collect and clean the dishes. I wanted to be in team A because I wanted to interact with homeless people as we served the food. This meant that there were 5 favorable outcomes out of 15 possible outcomes; hence, the theoretical probability of falling in team A was 5/15= 1/3.

Relative Frequency Probability

Relative frequency probability is one of the classical approaches to finding the probability of an event occurring. This approach highlights the ratio of appearance of a given event and the total number of outcomes from the experiment (Drieschner 29). Ideally, relative frequency probability highlights the number of times that an event occurs during several trials or experiments.

P (event) = number of time it occurs/ total number of trials

Relative frequency probability is seen in our daily activities. For instance in a test in my cooking class some time back, 20 students took the test. 8 made chicken soup, 10 made Italian fish stew, and 2 made pork ribs. The relative frequency probabilities of the three choices were as follows:

Chicken stew = 8/20= 0.4

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Italian fish stew =10/20= 0.5

Pork ribs = 2/20= 0.1

The relative frequency probability is normally used in experimental trials when researchers are looking to establish the events with the highest frequency of occurrence. This provides data that can be used to predict the events that might occur when certain variables are altered in an experiment.

Subjective Probability

Subjective probability refers to the use of personal opinion to establish the probability of an event occurring. As the word suggests, one applies a subjective perspective on the situation and predicts the likely outcome. This implies that subjective probability does not rely on any calculations. One can assign any percentage to subjective probability because it is based on an opinion, rather than the outcomes of collected data. For instance, my friend recently broke her laptop, and since I knew that she had an assignment to type, I was 80% sure that she would call to borrow mine. This was a subjective probability because the opinion was not based on any statistical data. It was just speculation that I developed following the consideration of the situation in which she was. Subjective probability is always prone to bias because personal opinions are not accurate statistical data.

Works Cited

Bennett, Jeffrey O., et al. Statistical Reasoning for Everyday Life. 4th ed., Pearson, 2013.

Drieschner, Michael. “Probability and Relative Frequency.” Foundations of Physics, vol. 46, no. 1, 2016, pp. 28-43.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Probability in Statistics: Desired Result' Occurrence." January 31, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Probability in Statistics: Desired Result' Occurrence'. 31 January.

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