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Difference Between Experimental and Theoretical Probability

Experimental vs Theoretical Probability

Let’s admit that not all people love math. We always think that geek people only love math plus science. Computations and formulas can always mess up our exams thus flunking is inevitable.

In statistics, computations are not only required but you are also required to interpret the data you have computed. Statistics can be a fun subject depending on your teacher or professor. He or she can teach the subject with ease. If the teacher is a terror, it will be more difficult for you to learn.

One component of statistics is the understanding of probability. Probability can be summed up to one word. The word is chance. Probability can be used in social sciences subjects such as economics, sociology, plus in behavioral sciences, and medicine.

Two components of probability are experimental probability and theoretical probability. Both have major differences, obviously, as implied by the name.

With experimental probability, the person is interested in finding the ratio of the outcome to the number of attempts or trial. For example, Brad Pitt flipped a coin five times. He got three heads and two tails on those five attempts. If asked what the experimental probability of getting heads is, the answer of Brad Pitt should be three out of five.

On the other hand, with theoretical probability, the person is interested in the ratio of the wanted or favorable outcome in conjunction with the possible outcome. This is written as a ratio (e.g. 1:3 or read as 1 is to 3). For example, Angelina Jolie has put ten pieces of chocolate in a jar with the following numbers: five white chocolates, three dark chocolates, and two hazelnut chocolates. Since her favorite chocolate is the hazelnut chocolate, what is the theoretical probability that she will get a hazelnut chocolate? The answer is 2:10 or two hazelnut chocolates over ten chocolates. In simplest form it is one is to five.

Experimental probability is frequently used in medical and scientific research. It can also be used in socioeconomic research. Theoretical probability is also used in certain research and businesses.


1.Experimental probability measures the ratio of outcome vs. attempt while theoretical probability measures the favorable or wanted outcome vs. the possible outcome.
2.Experimental probability is widely used in experimental research while theoretical probability is widely used in businesses.

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