Chapter 5

A Bayesian Take on Colorectal Screening, Baseball, Fund Managers, and a Murder

5.1 Background

This chapter is a slight departure from the previous chapters, being a commentary on how Bayes’ Theorem from the study of probability can illuminate a wealth of problems in the social and biological sciences.

It concerns conditional statements of the form “What is the probability of an event A given that some other event, B, has taken place?” I write this in shorthand as prob(A|B). The theorem in question relates this assertion to its mirror image prob(B|A), in which A and B are interchanged. I want to illustrate this idea by a number of unusual and perhaps-unfamiliar examples, although I begin with two better-known illustrations in order to ...

Get Mathematical Models for Society and Biology, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.