Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Frequency and Relative Frequency

Frequency vs Relative Frequency

The terms “frequency” and “relative frequency” usually turn up when we talk about probability in statistics or in math. Probability is expressing belief that a certain result will occur in an experiment, test, or research. It is used to conclude whether the chance of the probable event is more likely to happen. The probability of an event can be determined by doing a little experiment and computations. Most people use probability in statistics, but some people use this in other areas of study as well. Some of these are in mathematics, science, finance, or even in gambling.

In statistics, “frequency” is the total number of times a given result came up in an experiment or study. It is the total number of times an event occurs. So we can say that “frequency” simply means the rate of occurrence. For instance, you are going to execute a test to know the probability of getting a six when throwing a dice. You throw the dice ten times, and the side of the dice with six dots on it shows up three times. The result “three times” is your frequency. Drawing a card from a deck of cards is another way to test probability and to get the frequency that a heart will be drawn. Pick five cards and see how many cards you get that have the heart symbol on it. Let’s say you got three heart cards, then that is your frequency. You can get the frequency immediately after you carry out your experiment without having the need to calculate.

On the other hand, “relative frequency” is the term used for the fraction of how many times a result occurs over the total number of tries you did for your study. Unlike frequency that you can come up with it by simply conducting the experiment, relative frequency involves a simple calculation. Let us say that you are conducting a random experiment by tossing a coin, drawing a card, throwing a dice, or picking marbles out of a bag and repeated it “N” times. While doing this you observed the absolute frequency of times a certain outcome turns up. The formula to get the relative frequency is very simple. Relative frequency is equal to the number of times the result occurred over the total number of times the experiment is repeated.

For example, you are conducting a random experiment by drawing colored balls from a bag. You take ten balls from the bag, and you observed that the red balls came up five times. In this case, the relative frequency is 5/10 or 1/2 or in decimals 0.5. Another good example is if we are to take samples from a production of computer monitors to see whether they are working properly. We take 50 random samples of the computer monitors to test and find out the relative frequency of defective ones. While conducting the experiment we found out that ten of the said computer monitors are defective. Again we get the relative frequency by dividing the defective computer monitors over the number of samples we tested. So that is 10 defective computer monitors divided by 50 computer monitors tested. We get 10/50 or 1/5 which is 0.2.
Summary:

1.“Frequency” is the number of times the result came up while “relative frequency” is the number of times the result came up divided by the number of times the experiment was repeated.
2.The frequency can easily be determined by simply conducting the experiment and noting how many times the event you are looking for occurred. There are no computations needed. On the other hand, unlike frequency, relative frequency is determined by using simple division.


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