Study Guide

# Basic Statistics & Probability - Predicting vs. Observing Probability

## Predicting vs. Observing Probability

There are two ways to calculate probability:

• using math to predict
• by actually observing the event and keeping score.

Theoretical probability uses math to predict the outcomes. Just divide the favorable outcomes by the possible outcomes.

Experimental probability is based on observing a trial or experiment, counting the favorable outcomes, and dividing it by the total number of times the trial was performed.

Let's look at this example: we tossed a coin 36 times and recorded the outcomes:

H, T, H, H, T, T, H, T, T, T, T, T,
T, T, T, H, H, T, H, H, T, H, H, H,
H, T, H, H, T, H, H, T, H, H, T, H

Based on this experiment:

• Experimental probability of flipping Heads is  or about and Tails is  or about
• Theoretical probability of flipping Heads is and Tails is

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