16 Randomness versus causality

This chapter covers

  • Laplace’s rule of succession
  • The hot hand
  • Recognizing randomness versus order and causality
  • Simulating coin flips
  • Inserting ggplot2 objects into other ggplot2 objects

Way back in the 18th century, a French scholar and polymath by the name of Pierre-Simon Laplace developed a formula to compute probabilities starting from low observation counts. Assume there have been n independent trials that can only result in success or failure; we might then compute the probability (p) of success (s) on the next trial (n) by applying the following formula: p = s / n. However, let’s say there have been just five independent trials and five successes. The probability of success on the sixth trial would therefore ...

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