Chapter 16

Introducing Probability

In This Chapter

arrow Defining probability

arrow Working with probability

arrow Dealing with random variables and their distributions

arrow Focusing on the binomial distribution

Throughout this book, I toss around the concept of probability, because it’s the basis of hypothesis testing and inferential statistics. Most of the time, I represent probability as the proportion of area under part of a distribution. For example, the probability of a Type I error (α) is the area in a tail of the standard normal distribution or the t distribution.

In this chapter, I explore probability in greater detail, including random variables, permutations, and combinations. I examine probability’s fundamentals and applications, and then zero in on a couple of specific probability distributions, and I discuss probability-related Excel worksheet functions.

What Is Probability?

Most of us have an intuitive idea about what probability is all about. Toss a fair coin, and you have a 50-50 chance it comes up “Heads.” Toss a fair die (one of a pair of dice) and you have a one-in-six chance it comes ...

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