September 17, 2011

Saturday Learning Series - Reasoning with Probabilities

It's interesting that something on probabilities would come from a philosophy tangent. Kevin deLaplante of The Critical Thinking Academy has a great mini-series on reasoning with probabilities. It might seem a bit dry to some but there are some pearls of wisdom in here. This one hits home for me big time, since I do a lot of work with statistics in my day job. I'm no statistics guru, having only taken it in university and then getting to use it again only within the last 10 years or so (after a decade out of school). But I've worked with it enough to understand the importance of statistics and the implications of what it can tell us (and a little more, but that's not relevant here).

What is probability?

Interpreting Frequencies

Descriptive versus Inferential statistics as an aside;
Statistics as a subject is broken into two branches: Descriptive Statistics and Inferential Statistics. It’s really pretty simple. Descriptive statistics includes collecting, organizing, summarizing, and presenting data. Inferential statistics is when we “make inferences”, do hypothesis testing, determine relationships, and make predictions.
Subjective Probability

You might be wondering if this stuff has useful applications since it seems so esoteric. The answer is yes.  There are far more real world applications to this stuff than you might surmise.

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