ACTIVITY - CHANGING PROBABILITIES WHEN NEW INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE
The point of this activity is to demonstrate that probabilities that we
assign are conditional on our current knowledge. As we learn and gain
more information, our probabilities about statements can change.
Later, we will introduce a formula, Bayes' rule, which will tell us
how to compute new probabilities when we get information.
(from DeGroot, 1970)
WHEN WAS JOHN TYLER BORN?
Get additional information.
Consider the year of birth of John Tyler, former President of the United States.
The table below lists four statements about Tyler's year of birth.
| YEAR OF BIRTH
|| PROBABILITY |
| no later than 1750 || |
| between 1751 and 1775 || |
| between 1776 and 1800 || |
| after 1800 || |
- Which of the four statements do you believe is most likely?
- Which of the statements do you believe is least likely?
- Give probabilities to the four events that are consistent
with the answers you made above. Put your answers in a probability table
like shown above.
Page Author: Jim Albert (© 1996)
Last Modified: November 24, 1996