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CONSTRUCTING PROBABILITY

DISTRIBUTIONS
Lesson Objectives

At the end of this lesson, you are expected to:

• illustrate a probability distribution for a


discrete random variable and its properties;
• compute probabilities corresponding to a
given random variable; and
• construct the probability mass function of a
discrete random variable and its
corresponding histogram.
Pre-Assessment A

Recap: P E 

n E 
nS 
Pre-Assessment B
Recap:
Evaluating an algebraic expression means finding the value
of an expression when the variables take on certain values.
Lesson Introduction
Decision-making is an important aspect in business,
education, insurance, and other real-life situations.
Many decisions are made by assigning probabilities to
all possible outcomes pertaining to the situation and
then evaluating the results.

For instance, an insurance company might be able to


assign probabilities to the number of vehicles a family
owns. This information will help the company in making
decisions regarding future financial situations. This
situation requires the use of random variables and
probability distribution.
Discussion Points

A discrete probability distribution or a


probability mass function consists of the
values a random variable can assume and the
corresponding probabilities of the values.
Discussion Points
Illustrative Example: Finding the probability
corresponding to a given random variable

Number of Tails
Suppose three coins are tossed. Let Y be the
random variable representing the number of
tails that occur. Find the probability of each of
the values of the random variable Y.
Discussion Points

Step 1:
Determine the sample space. Let H represent head
and T represent tail.

The sample space for this experiment is:


S = {TTT, TTH, THT, HTT, HHT, HTH, THH, HHH}
Discussion Points
Step 2:
Count the number of tails
in each outcome in the
sample space and assign
this number to this
outcome.
Discussion Points

Step 3:
There are four possible values of the random
variable Y representing the number of tails. These
are 0, 1, 2, and 3. Assign probability values P(Y) to
each value of the random variable.
Discussion Points
Continuation Step 3

• There are 8 possible outcomes and no tail occurs once, so the


probability that we shall assign to the random variable 0 is 1/8 .
• There are 8 possible outcomes and 1 tail occurs three times, so
the probability that we shall assign to the random variable 1 is
3/8 .
• There are 8 possible outcomes and 2 tails occur three times, so
the probability that we shall assign to the random variable 2 is
3/8 .
• There are 8 possible outcomes and 3 tails occur once, so the
probability that we shall assign to the random variable 3 is 1/8 .
Discussion Points
Continuation Step 3

The Probability Distribution or the Probability


Mass Function of Discrete Random Variable Y
Example 1
Number of Blue Balls

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. Construct
the probability distribution of the random
variable Z.
Solution to Example 1

Step 1:
Determine the sample space. Let B represent the blue
ball and R represent the red ball.

The sample space for this experiment is:


S = {RR, RB, BR, BB}
Solution to Example 1
Step 2:
Count the number of blue balls in each outcome in the
sample space and assign this number to this outcome.
Solution to Example 1

Step 3:
There are three possible values of the random
variable Z representing the number of blue balls.
These are 0, 1, and 2. Assign probability values P(Z)
to each value of the random variable.
Solution to Example 1
Continuation Step 3

• There are 4 possible outcomes and no blue ball occurs


once, so the probability that we shall assign to the random
variable 0 is 1/4 .
• There are 4 possible outcomes and 1 blue ball occurs two
times, so the probability that we shall assign to the random
variable 1 is or 1/2 .
• There are 4 possible outcomes and 2 blue balls occur once,
so the probability that we shall assign to the random
variable 2 is 1/4 .
Solution to Example 1
Continuation Step 3

The Probability Distribution or the Probability


Mass Function of Discrete Random Variable Z
Solution to Example 1
The Histogram for the Probability Distribution of
the Discrete Random Variable Z
Example 2
Number of Defective Cell Phones

Suppose three cell phones are tested at random.


Let D represent the defective cell phone and let
N represent the non-defective cell phone. If we
let X be the random variable for the number of
defective cell phones, construct the probability
distribution of the random variable X.
Solution to Example 1

Step 1:
Determine the sample space. Let D represent the
defective cell phone and N represent the non-
defective cell phone.

The sample space for this experiment is:


S = {NNN, NND, NDN, DNN, NDD, DND, DDN, DDD}
Solution to Example 2
Step 2:
Count the number of
defective cell phones
in each outcome in
the sample space
and assign this
number to this
outcome.
Solution to Example 2

Step 3:
There are four possible values of the random
variable X representing the number of defective
cell phones. These are 0, 1, 2, and 3. Assign
probability values P(X), to each value of the
random variable.
Solution to Example 2
Continuation Step 3

• There are 8 possible outcomes and no defective cell phone occurs


once, so the probability that we shall assign to the random variable 0
is 1/8 .
• There are 8 possible outcomes and 1 defective cell phone occurs three
times, so the probability that we shall assign to the random variable 1
is 3/8 .
• There are 8 possible outcomes and 2 defective cell phones occur three
times, so the probability that we shall assign to the random variable 2
is 3/8 .
• There are 8 possible outcomes and 3 defective cell phones occur once,
so the probability that we shall assign to the random variable 3 is 1/8 .
Solution to Example 2
Continuation Step 3

Probability Distribution or Probability Mass


function of Discrete Random Variable X
Solution to Example 2
The Histogram for the Probability Distribution of
the Discrete Random Variable X
Exercise 1 Determine whether the distribution
represents a probability distribution. Explain
your answer.
Exercise 2 Construct the probability distribution for the random
variables described in each of the following situations. Draw the
corresponding histogram for each probability distribution.

Four coins are tossed. Let Z be the random variable


representing the number of heads that occur. Find
the values of the random variable Z.
Exercise 3 Construct the probability distribution for the random
variables described in each of the following situations. Draw the
corresponding histogram for each probability distribution.

Let T be a random variable giving the number of


heads in three tosses of a coin. List the elements of
the sample space S for the three tosses of the coin
and assign a value to each sample point.
Exercise 4 Determine whether the given values can serve as the
values of a probability distribution of the random variable X that
can take on only the values 1, 2, and 3. Explain your answer.
Exercise 5 Construct a probability distribution for the data and
draw a histogram of the distribution.
Summary

A discrete probability distribution or a


probability mass function consists of the
values a random variable can assume and the
corresponding probabilities of the values.
Summary
Properties of a Probability Distribution
– The probability of each value of the random
variable must be between or equal to 0 and 1. In
symbol, we write it as 0 ≤ P(X) ≤ 1.

– The sum of the probabilities of all values of the


random variable must be equal to 1. In symbol,
we write it as ∑P(X) = 1.