How probability works in real life

What is probability? -
Probability is a term used in mathematics to describe the likelihood of something happening. 

How is probability calculated? -
Probability is calculated in terms of percentages and fractions. Here are a few examples of how these are calculated and described.

It’s certain -
This is when there is a 100% probability of something happening. It’s the highest possible likelihood.

It’s likely -
When it’s “likely” that something will happen, this means that there is a 50% to 100% probability of it happening.

There’s an even chance -
This one is used to describe the exact middle. Meaning that there is a 50% chance of it happening or not happening.

It’s impossible -
Opposite to the “it’s certain,” this is when there is zero likelihood of something happening.

Types of probability -
Now that we’ve looked at how probability is calculated, it’s also important to understand the types of probability and what they mean.

Experimental probability -
This is calculated using the number of total possible outcomes by the total possible number of trials. E.g. heads or tails.

Subjective probability -
Subjective probability is based upon subjective elements such as feelings or emotions. E.g. betting on a sports team just because it’s a person’s favorite team.

Probability in real life -
Now, let's take a look at how these concepts apply in real life.

Weather forecast -  For instance, if there is a 65% chance of rain, you are more likely to take an umbrella with you.

Sports outcomes -
Many coaches decide on the strategy and tactics for games based on probability. 

Autocorrect software -
This is one most of us experience daily. Word suggestions as we type on our smartphones are calculated based on probability.

Games of chance -
A good example would be a card game. Probability (as well as statistics) play a role in how the game will develop and what are the chances of winning it.

Shopping -
Shopping suggestions use probability to target consumers with products they are more likely to buy. 

Election results -  Then exit polls and trends are added into the mix and a winning/loss probability is calculated.

Stock market -
The stock market relies on a number of analytics to calculate the probability of stocks going up or down in price.

Sales forecasting -
Companies predict future sales based on probability, and this is how they ensure they have enough stock. 

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