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Apr09

Probability: What Is It and How Can We Use It?

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In this post we’re going to learn about probability and how we can use it in daily life.

One of the most special characteristics of human beings, which sets us apart from other animals, is our ability to “predict”, to anticipate the events that will occur. Sometimes we’re wrong, but we’re often right, and this ability has allowed us to get to where we are today, being able to predict both dangers and opportunities.

Probability is the mathematical calculation that evaluates the possibilities of something happening.

Therefore, it’s something that’s important to work on and learn more about. But don’t worry, it’s not too difficult, because it’s part of our internal reasoning. Take a look at the following problem, I’m sure you’ll know how to solve it:

Look at the parking lot. Which color car do you think will be the next one to leave?

Probability 
Of course, it could be yellow, but there's a much higher probability that it will be red because there are many more red cars than yellow ones. Six of the seven cars in the parking lot are red.
The probability of a yellow car leaving still exists, and it's 1 in 7. However, the probability of a blue car leaving is 0, because none of the 7 cars in the parking lot are blue.

Mathematicians, seeing the benefits that these predictions can give, have developed a lot in this field. At Smartick, we have too, with a sequence of exercises ordered by level which adapts to the learning of each child.

Probability also exists in our daily life. Let’s look at an example:

“Odds and evens” is a game played between two people, usually to choose which one of the two gets to, or has to, do an activity. Each person represents a number from 1 to 5 with the fingers of one hand. One of the two players will win depending on the sum of these numbers, and whether it is odd or even. It’s a process linked to a random event but probability states that there’s more chance of an even number coming out than an odd number.

You can see it in this table, where even numbers are marked in yellow. There are 25 possible results and 13 of them are even numbers.

Probability

So now you know! Probability can help you with many things in daily life, these are just two small examples. You can learn and discover much more about it with Smartick. Log in and try it for free!

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