# Probability Misconception

Hey, buddies :)

Recently people had discussion in Brilliant-Lounge on a probability problem which is:

In a family of 3 children, what is the probability that at least one will be a boy?

Some of them believe that $$\frac 34$$ is the correct answer while the others believe that the correct answer is $$\frac 78$$.

Everyone is invited to come up with their response along with the explanation. It will be fun and help us a lot to upgrade our knowledge engine further.

Thanks!

Note by Sandeep Bhardwaj
3 years, 1 month ago

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Let $$B$$ represent a boy and $$G$$ represent a girl.Then,

Sample Space , $$S =\{BBB,BBG,BGB,GBB,BGG,GBG,GGB,GGG\}$$

(Probability of having at least $$1$$ boy) $$= 1 -$$(Probability of having only girls (no boys))=$$1-\frac{1}{8}$$(only $$1$$ case out of $$8$$ cases)=$$\frac{7}{8}$$

So According to me, correct answer is $$\boxed {\frac{7}{8}}$$.

Note:-

$$BBG,BGB,GBB$$ are different cases because their relative ages (order of birth) are different in each case.

(Same for $$BGG,GBG,GGB$$)

Alternate Thinking Process:-

$$P(B)=P(G)=\frac{1}{2}$$

(Probability of having at least $$1$$ boy) $$= 1 -$$(Probability of having only girls (no boys))$$=1-\frac{1}{2}\times \frac{1}{2}\times \frac{1}{2}=\boxed{\frac{7}{8}}$$

- 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes you are right. This is the same approach what I had.

- 3 years, 1 month ago

Nice approach @Yash Dev Lamba

- 3 years ago

it's an easy one :P let the birth of boy be success and girl be failure ( i'm not being an anti-feminist :P) the answer would be 3c1+3c2+3c3/(2^3)=7/8 ! easy enough :P

- 2 years, 1 month ago

lol.

- 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with @Yash Dev Lamba

Probability can lead to amazing paradoxes. Here is a very well known probability question often misunderstood:

A family has two children. What is the probability that they are both sons, given that a) At least one of them is a son? b) the elder child is a son?

Staff - 3 years, 1 month ago

Ya , parodoxes created by probability are probably the best.

(a)1/3 (b)1/2

- 3 years, 1 month ago

Simple conceptual learning condtitonal probability Probability Rocks By- YDL

- 3 years, 1 month ago

What do you guys think? I would be great if you participate in this discussion as you were playing a major role in the slack discussion. Thanks!

- 3 years, 1 month ago

The Family cares about getting Boy, not about getting a young boy or an old boy. So, how does having two younger daughters and an elder son different from having a younger son and two elder daughters ?

- 3 years, 1 month ago

How 3/4 will come?

- 3 years, 1 month ago

if blindly consider BBG,BGB,GBB same and BGG,GBG,GGB also same then prob. is 3/4 which is incorrect.

- 3 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for explaining. A wrong answer is more important than a right.

- 3 years, 1 month ago

Take the complementary probability, the chance that no boys are picked. For this to happen, all girls must be picked, so the probability is (1/2)^3 = 1/8. Every other case has at least one boy, so the probability that at least one boy is chosen is 1 - 1/8 = 7/8.

- 3 years, 1 month ago

Ans should be 7/8 as if we remove the case of no boys then the remaining will be atleast 1 boy i.e 1-(1/2)^3= 7/8 ☺

- 3 years, 1 month ago

But there is a large assumption that boys and girls are given birth to with 0.5 probability each! That's quite huge an assumption, and it would allow any answer to be correct...

- 3 years, 1 month ago

The Family cares about getting Boy, not about getting a young boy or an old boy. So, how does having two younger daughters and an elder son different from having a younger son and two elder daughters ?

- 3 years ago

I feel like the answer is 1/5

- 3 years, 1 month ago

- 3 years, 1 month ago

Duh!! It is 4/5 because in a family of 5 (3 children 2 parents) then there is at least 1 women so at least 1 boy is 4/5

PS: I am weak in probability

- 3 years, 1 month ago

It's only about the children, not the parents. So consider a family of 3 children (assuming total members as 3) and then find out the probability that at least one of them is a boy. Thanks!

Don't worry. Keep practicing. You will soon be a master in combinatorics. $$\ddot \smile$$

- 3 years, 1 month ago

- 3 years, 1 month ago

There are 4 possibilities - 1 boy , 2 boys , 3 boys and no boy . so at least 1 boy so the answer is 3/4 Am I correct ? Sandeep sir

- 3 years, 1 month ago

What I think is that BGG , GBG, GGB would be same so I count them as 1. Are we considering order of birth as well ?

- 3 years, 1 month ago

If we replace chilren with coins, the answer remains the same but that maybe a better way to tell you why order is necessary.

- 3 years, 1 month ago

yes, we are considering although it is not mentioned in question but it is understood (I think) to consider order of birth.

- 3 years, 1 month ago

No. The correct answer is 7/8.

- 3 years, 1 month ago

Ohkk sir I thought order won't matter .

- 3 years, 1 month ago