Homework Help

Explain how the term "Probability" is used in the newspapers articles?  Explain why...

user profile pic

soman2006 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Salutatorian

Posted June 8, 2012 at 1:41 PM via web

dislike 2 like

Explain how the term "Probability" is used in the newspapers articles?  Explain why the given "probability" is or is not used correctly.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 8, 2012 at 6:08 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Probability is a mathematical term, signifying the ratio of an action to its nonaction in mathematical terms. The common example is the probability of rolling a certain number on a die—the probability is one in six. Newspapers, however, tend to use the term when discussing predictions or trends or possibilities, non-specific quantities, and, as such, their “probabilities" are really just their own estimations at an occurrence (the results of an election, for example). While between two candidates the probability is one in two, mathematically, a news source might say that a certain candidate has a 90% chance of winning “based on our assessment of the voting population.” This is a much less newsworthy statement, and falls under the heading of speculation. Probability is a mathematic quantity; possibility is a social or physical factor.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes