The propensity approach

Some people may find all the other interpretations and definitions of probability are somewhat unintuitive: surely the probability of something happening is not really a "degree of belief", but something objective about the world that would be the same even if there were no human (or alien) beings around to believe it?

The frequency interpretation

The frequency interpretation of probability is fairly self explanatory, in that it defines a probability as a limiting frequency. If we throw a (fair) die often enough, then we will eventually find that each number comes up about a sixth of the total time. The longer we continue to throw the die, the nearer the result will come to the ideal value of 1/6 for each number. The probability of an event is then defined by the relative frequency, as the throws continue to an idealized infinity.

What is Probability?

diceWe use phrases like "the probability of this coin coming up heads is 1/2", and "the odds on Manchester United winning their match are 2 to 1", and "the chance of dying of cancer is 30%". But what do these numbers actually mean? There are fundamentally different views about this, which can lead to very different ideas about how to deal with uncertainty.

The Premier League

The Premier League is the main English football league, with 20 teams each playing a home and away against each other team making, 38 matches for each team in a season, and 380 matches altogether.

Risk in the media

Why risk in the media?

headlines from newspaperNo-one can be an expert in every subject. We may have left formal science teaching behind at school, or have continued through university. We may keep up to date by reading scientific periodicals and websites - or just wish we had the time to do so! But as news breaks of yet another scientific discovery, we all start with what the media have made of the story, and how they present it to us.

Notes for Reviewers

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