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UNIVERSITY OF THE CORDILLERAS

INTEGRATED SCHOOL- Senior High School


Statistics and Probability

RANDOM VARIABLES AND PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS


INTRODUCTION
Probability is a mathematical concept that is used to measure the likelihood that an event will occur. It is
quantified as a number between 0 and 1, where 0 indicates uncertainty and 1 indicates certainty. The higher the
probability of an event, the more likely it is that the event will occur.

BASIC CONCEPTS IN PROBABILITY


 Random (statistical) experiment is any process of making an observation, repeatable under basically the same
conditions leading to well-defined outcomes.
 Sample space is the set of all possible outcomes in a random experiment denoted by S.
 Sample points are elements contained in the sample space.
 Event is defined as the collection of expected outcomes in the sample space, represented by E or any capital
letters in the alphabet.

Example:
Random Experiment: TOSSING TWO COINS
Sample Space: S = Event: The event of getting a Head, X =
H T
H
H HT
H
T TH TT
Try this out! In the random experiment of tossing 2 dice, determine the sample space and the event of getting two even
numbers, E.
1 2 3 4 5 6
1
2
3
4
5
6

Number of Sample Points


Event, E
Sample Space, S
P(E) --- Probability of the Event, E ---
Other Examples:
a. Measure the daily rainfall c. Measure the weight in kg of babies.
b. Count the number of eggs in a nest. d. Count the number of defective light bulbs in
a case of bulbs.

RANDOM VARIABLE (also called stochastic variable)


- a variable whose values are determined by chance
- a function that associates a real number to each element in the sample space
- represents a quantity being measured, usually denoted by capital letter (X,Y,Z, etc)

Types of random variable


1. Discrete random variable - finite or countable number of values
Examples: number of orders per day, number of family members
2. Continuous random variable - infinitely many values corresponding to the points on a line interval; measurable,
expressed on a continuous scale
Examples: height, weight, time, temperature

Try this out! Identify which of the following represent continuous random variables and which represent discrete random
variables.
1. number of male students in the class 5. time of the day
2. height of grade 11 students in your school 6. How many kinds of fruits have you eaten last
3. number of words you can encode in 1 min week?
4. speed of the horses in a race
PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTION
UNIVERSITY OF THE CORDILLERAS
INTEGRATED SCHOOL- Senior High School
Statistics and Probability

- A probability distribution is an assignment of probabilities to specific values of a random variable (discrete) or to


a range of values of a random variable (continuous).
Properties:
• The probability of each value of the random variable must be between or equal to 0 and 1. In symbol, 0≤P(X) ≤1.
• The sum of the probabilities of all values of the random variable must be equal to 1. In symbol, ∑P(X)=1.
Examples:
1. Rolling a die 3. Tossing three coins
2. Defective cell phones 4. Drawing balls from a container

Random Experiment: DRAWING BALLS FROM AN URN


Two balls are drawn in succession without replacement from an urn containing 5 red balls and 6 blue balls. Let Z be the
random variable representing the number of blue balls. Find the values of the random variable Z.
Steps Solution
1. Determine the sample space. Let B represent the S = {RR, RB, BR, BB}
BLUE ball and R represent the RED ball.

2. Count the number of BLUE balls in each sample Sample Points Value of the random
point. variable Z
(number of blue balls)
RR 0
RB 1
BR 1
BB 2

Probability Distribution or Mass Function of Discrete Random Variable Z


Number of Blue Balls (Z) 0 1 2
Probability P(Z) 1/4 2/4 ¼

Random Experiment: DEFECTIVE CELL PHONES


Suppose three cell phones are tested at random, show the values of the random variable X representing the number of
defective cell phones.
Steps Solution
1. Determine the sample space. Let D represent the S=
defective cell phones and N represent the number of
non-defective cell phones.

2. Count the number of defective cell phones in each Sample Value of the random variable X
sample point. Points (number of defective cell phones)

Probability Distribution or Mass Function of Discrete Random Variable X


Number of Defective Cell Phones (X)
Probability P(X)

Random Experiment: TOSSING THREE COINS


Suppose three coins are tossed. Let Y be the random variable representing the number of tails that occur. Find the values
of the random variable Y.

Steps Solution
1. Determine the sample space. Let T represent the tail S=
UNIVERSITY OF THE CORDILLERAS
INTEGRATED SCHOOL- Senior High School
Statistics and Probability

and H represent the Head.

2. Count the number of tails in each sample point. Sample Value of the random variable Y (number
Points of tails)

Probability Distribution or Mass Function of Discrete Random Variable Y


Number of Tails (Y)
Probability P(Y)

Properties of Probability Distribution


1. The Probability of each value of the random variable must be between or equal to 0 and 1.
0≤P(X)≤1
2. The sum of the probabilities of all values of the random variable must be equal to 1.
∑P(X) = 1

Try this out! Determine whether the distribution represents a probability distribution.
X 1 5 6 7 9
P(X) 1/3 2/6 1/3 1/3 2/6
1. P(1)=0.35, P(3)=0.25, P(5)=0.22, P(7)=1.12 3+ x
3. P(X)= for x=1, 2, 3, 4
2. P(1)=10/33, P(2)=1/3, P(3)=13/33 3−x

4. The daily demand for copies of a movie magazine at a variety store has the probability distribution as follows

X 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
P(X) 0.06 0.14 0.16 0.14 0.12 0.10 0.08 0.07 0.06 0.04 0.03
a. What is the probability that 5 or more copies will be demanded in a particular day?
b. What is the probability that the demand will be at least 7 copies? At most 3 copies?
c. Find P(1<X≤6)

MEAN, VARIANCE AND STANDARD DEVIATION OF A DISCRETE PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTION


Given a probability distribution of discrete random variable X, we can compute for the mean (also called
mathematical expectation) and variance using the formulae below:

Mean (expected value) Variance Standard Deviation


2 2 2
μ=∑ X ∙ P ( X ) σ =∑ ( X −μ ) ∙ P ( X )∨¿ ¿ σ =√ σ
σ 2=∑ [ X ¿¿ 2 ∙ P ( X ) ]−μ2 ¿
*Standard Deviation is a measure of dispersion equal to the square root of the variance.

Example 1: SURGERY PATIENTS


The probabilities that a surgeon operates on 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 patients in any day are 0.15, 0.10, 0.20, 0.25 and 0.30
respectively. Compute the mean, variance and standard deviation of the random variable.

Probability Distribution or Mass Function of Discrete Random Variable X


Number of Patients (X) 3 4 5 6 7
Probability P(X) 0.15 0.10 0.20 0.25 0.30
UNIVERSITY OF THE CORDILLERAS
INTEGRATED SCHOOL- Senior High School
Statistics and Probability

Solution:
μ=Σ [X ● P ( X )] = 3(0.15) + 4(0.1) + 5(0.2) + 6(0.25) + 7(0.3)
= 0.45 + 0.4 + 1 + 1.5 + 2.1 = 5.45

σ 2=Σ[ X ¿¿ 2● P ( X ) ]−(μ 2) ¿ = {32(0.15) + 42(0.1) + 52(0.2) + 62(0.25) + 72(0.3)} – (5.452)


=

σ =√ σ 2 = √ 1.95 =

 How many patients does the surgeon expect to operate in any day?

Example 2: NUMBER OF CARS SOLD


The number of cars sold per day at a local car dealership, along with its corresponding probabilities, is shown in the
succeeding table. Determine the mean, variance and standard deviation of the probability distribution.

Probability Distribution or Mass Function of Discrete Random Variable X


Number of Cards Sold (X) 0 1 2 3 4
Probability P(X) 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2
Solution:
μ=Σ [X ● P ( X )] =

σ 2=Σ[ X 2 ● P ( X )]−(μ 2) =

σ =√ σ 2 = √ 1.95 =

 How many cars will be sold in a day?

Example 3: DEFECTIVE COMPUTERS


The probabilities of a machine manufacturing 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 defective computers every 24 hours are 0.15, 0.05, 0.04,
0.25, 0.01 and 0.5, respectively. Find the mean, variance and standard deviation of the probability distribution.

Probability Distribution or Mass Function of Discrete Random Variable X


Number of Defective Computers (X) 0 1 2 3 4 5
Probability P(X)
Solution:
μ=Σ [X ● P ( X )] =

σ 2=Σ[ X ¿¿ 2● P ( X ) ]−(μ 2) ¿ =

σ =√ σ 2 = √ 1.95 =

Example 4: Complete the table and find the mean, variance and standard deviation of the following probability
distributions:
Probability Distribution 1
X P(X) X⦁ P(X) X2⦁ P(X)
UNIVERSITY OF THE CORDILLERAS
INTEGRATED SCHOOL- Senior High School
Statistics and Probability

1 3/10
6 1/10
11 2/10
16 2/10
21 2/10
μ=¿ σ2 σ
Probability Distribution 2
X P(X) X⦁ P(X) X2⦁ P(X)
3 0.15
6 0.35
8 0.40
10 x
μ=¿ σ2 σ

Example 5: Find the mean, variance and standard deviation of the probability distribution of the random variable X if
x+1
P(X) = for x = 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
20

OTHER PROBLEMS (APPLICATION)


1. Dr. Fidget developed a test to measure boredom tolerance. He administered it to a group of 20,000 adults. The
possible scores were 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, with 6 indicating the highest tolerance for boredom. The results are shown.
Complete the following table and then find the mean, variance, and standard deviation to measure boredom tolerance of
the adults.
Score X 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
Frequency f 1400 2600 3600 6000 4400 1600 400
Probability P(X)

2. In a survey of 250 randomly selected registered students in a summer session, 35 students were taking 3 units, 75
students were taking 4 units, 95 students were taking 5 units, and the rest were taking 6 units. Complete the following
table and then find the mean, variance, and standard deviation of the number of units the students are taking in a summer
session.

Number of Units X
Probability P(X)