Probability and Distributions in Qualitative Analysis

561 Words2 Pages
Probability and Distributions Quantitative analysis can be a very complex undertaking, but a little understanding can go a long way. Before any statistical analysis or in-depth investigation of quantitative data is attempted, one should at least build an understanding of some of the basic elements of probability. The following paragraphs provide a definition and explanation of the two basic laws of probability and an examination of two types of probability distributions, and while this will not allow for truly meaningful quantitative analysis to take place it will provide a foundational understanding that anyone can utilize to begin investigating probability and statistics. The two basic laws of probability are, as their basic nature implies, relatively simple to understand, despite the fact that they might not seem simple or easily approachable when concisely stated. The first rule is that the probability of any event must be between zero and one, inclusive, and the second (and very highly related) rule is that the sum of the probability of all events must equal one. Though this might seem foreign to one not used to dealing with numbers, it is actually quite simple, and it is from these two basic laws that simple probabilities (and thence more complex probabilities) can be established. Take the flip of a coin as an example: there are two possible outcomes, each of which must have a probability between zero and one and the sum of which must be equal to one. If there is
Open Document