Social Research Glossary A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Home
Citation reference: Harvey, L., 201219, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/socialresearch/ This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any email suggestions for additions or amendments.

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Probability
Probability measures how likely an event will occur.
Probability is a measure or estimation of how likely it is that something will happen or that a statement is true (sometimes the term likelihood is used).
Event is used as a shorthand for 'something will happen or something is true'.
The probability of an event never happening is given the value sero. The probability of it always happening is given the value 1. (Thus throwing a standard die, the probability of a 7 or more is zero while the probablity of 6 or less is 1).
The probability of most events lies between 1 and 0, (such as the probability of throwing a 3, 4 or 5 with a standard die is 3 in 6 (3/6 or 0.5).
Probability theory is used to work out the extent to which results based on a sample are indicative of the results for the population w=from which the sample was taken.
Colorado State University (1993–2013) defines probability as
The chance that a phenomenon has a of occurring randomly. As a statistical measure, it shown as p (the "p" factor).
Easton and McColl (undated) wrote
A probability provides a quantatative description of the likely occurrence of a particular event. Probability is conventionally expressed on a scale from 0 to 1; a rare event has a probability close to 0, a very common event has a probability close to 1.
The probability of an event has been defined as its longrun relative frequency. It has also been thought of as a personal degree of belief that a particular event will occur (subjective probability).
In some experiments, all outcomes are equally likely. For example if you were to choose one winner in a raffle from a hat, all raffle ticket holders are equally likely to win, that is, they have the same probability of their ticket being chosen. This is the equallylikely outcomes model and is defined to be:
P(E) = (number of outcomes corresponding to event E)/( total number of outcomes)....
See also
Researching the Real World Section 8
Easton, V and McColl, J.H., undated, available at http://www.stats.gla.ac.uk/steps/glossary/probability.html#probability, accessed 28 March 2013, still available 24 December 2016.
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