What is the meaning of probability?

Hi guys, I have a small question regarding probability. I know what it is, and how it's evaluated, but can't see much of a practical meaning, at least, in the examples I usually encounter. I hope you can provide me with a useful real-life example, where using probability can actually help predict a trend or sth like that...

In my RPG game, I can upgrade my item at the cost of some gold. The more gold I spend on upgrading, the higher the chance of success is. My question is, if I have, say 95% chance of success, is it different from a 50%? Since I practically upgrade the item only once, I think the only 2 options are success or failure. Even if I have a 99% and fail, I can't blame on anything, can I? Then what role does this chance of success play?

Note by Anh Huy Nguyen
6 years, 3 months ago

This discussion board is a place to discuss our Daily Challenges and the math and science related to those challenges. Explanations are more than just a solution — they should explain the steps and thinking strategies that you used to obtain the solution. Comments should further the discussion of math and science.

When posting on Brilliant:

• Use the emojis to react to an explanation, whether you're congratulating a job well done , or just really confused .
• Ask specific questions about the challenge or the steps in somebody's explanation. Well-posed questions can add a lot to the discussion, but posting "I don't understand!" doesn't help anyone.
• Try to contribute something new to the discussion, whether it is an extension, generalization or other idea related to the challenge.

MarkdownAppears as
*italics* or _italics_ italics
**bold** or __bold__ bold
- bulleted- list
• bulleted
• list
1. numbered2. list
1. numbered
2. list
Note: you must add a full line of space before and after lists for them to show up correctly
paragraph 1paragraph 2

paragraph 1

paragraph 2

[example link](https://brilliant.org)example link
> This is a quote
This is a quote
    # I indented these lines
# 4 spaces, and now they show
# up as a code block.

print "hello world"
# I indented these lines
# 4 spaces, and now they show
# up as a code block.

print "hello world"
MathAppears as
Remember to wrap math in $$ ... $$ or $ ... $ to ensure proper formatting.
2 \times 3 $2 \times 3$
2^{34} $2^{34}$
a_{i-1} $a_{i-1}$
\frac{2}{3} $\frac{2}{3}$
\sqrt{2} $\sqrt{2}$
\sum_{i=1}^3 $\sum_{i=1}^3$
\sin \theta $\sin \theta$
\boxed{123} $\boxed{123}$

Sort by:

Say you have a bag with 100 marbles. 1 is red, all others are blue. If you take one, what is the chance of getting a blue marble? Sure, there's only two possibilities, red and blue, but the chance of getting the blue marble is much higher than 50%. Think of it this way: the red marble could be picked, but if you would repeat this experiment over and over again, you will find that 99% of the times, you will pick a blue marble.

- 6 years, 3 months ago

The 'chances' that are calculated by the mathematics of probability can almost always be determined experimentally, but only if the experiment is repeated infinitely many times. Remember that familiar experiment where you throw buttered toast from a height over and over again to see how many times it land buttered-side down and how many times it lands buttered-side up?

The thing to notice is that you had to perform the experiment over and over again many times to get any result. A one-time experiment cannot give you any meaningful result regarding the 'chance' of something happening. Similarly, the chance determined by the math can be 'seen' only if you play your RPG game over and over again.

Doing it once and failing , you really can't "blame on anything"....but you can hope that because there was some probability of you succeeding, you probably spawned a parallel universe where you did succeed.

- 6 years, 3 months ago

You have harked upon a great misconception in probability. It is wrong to say that the probability I live in a blue house is so-and-so percent, because I either live in a blue house or I don't. The probability is either zero or one. But, you can saw that the probability a randomly selected person lives in a blue house is so-and-so percent. Similarly, you either won your game, or you lost. But this point of view is in retrospect. Before the game, you could win or you could lose, and like others have posted, if you played the game a lot of times, the probability of winning or loosing would be reflected in all those win or lose scenarios.

- 6 years, 3 months ago

Hey guys, I wanna ask something: I really don't know much about probability so can any one of you please refer me some link where I can read about probability (from basic concepts) and solve problems on it. Here on brilliant the problems on probability look really great but I can't solve them because I really can't understand the wording and stuff.........so I would be really happy if I could understand it.

- 6 years, 3 months ago

Take a look over here: http://www.khanacademy.org/math/trigonometry/probcomb/basicprob_precalc/v/basic-probability

- 6 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Tim, I'll am looking there. Thanks a lot!

- 6 years, 3 months ago