Pedigrees, Prizes, and Prisoners: The Misuse of Conditional Probability

  title={Pedigrees, Prizes, and Prisoners: The Misuse of Conditional Probability},
  author={Matthew A. Carlton},
  journal={Journal of Statistics Education},
We present and discuss three examples of misapplication of the notion of conditional probability. In each example, we present the problem along with a published and/or well-known incorrect - but seemingly plausible - solution. We then give a careful treatment of the correct solution, in large part to show how careful application of basic probability rules can help students to spot and avoid these mistakes. With each example, we also hope to illustrate the importance of having students draw a… 
Common Fallacies of Probability in Medical Context: A Simple Mathematical Exposition
This paper presents and explores the most frequent and most significant fallacies about probability in the medical fields, and offers an approximate method to achieve it under justified typical assumptions and an exact method via the normalized two-by-two contingency matrix.
Exhaustive Monty Hall Problems and Solutions
This paper at first isolates a group of Monty Hall problems, in which all doors are exhaustively chosen, swapped and revealed one by one, then introduces a new variant of briefer tree diagrams for
The Monty Hall problem revisited
A new approach to solve the classical Monty Hall problem in its general form is proposed, based on basic tools of probability theory, by defining three elementary events which decompose the sample space into a partition.
An alternative teaching method of conditional probabilities and Bayes' rule: an application of the truth table
This paper presents a comparison of three approaches to the teaching of probability to demonstrate how the truth table of elementary mathematical logic can be used to teach the calculations of
Biological Models for Finite Mathematics
ABSTRACT Finite Mathematics has become an enormously rich and productive area of contemporary mathematical biology. Fortunately, educators have developed educational modules based upon many of the


Bayesian Statistics for Biological Data: Pedigree Analysis.
The specific purposes of this report are to introduce students to Bayesian analysis, a method of analysis used in the gathering and statistical analysis of quantitative data from field or laboratory studies.
Conditional Probability and Education Reform: Are They Compatible?
It is demonstrated that one can teach conditional probability in a manner consistent with many features of the statistics education reform movement and proposed that interactive activities and the use of technology make conditional probability understandable, interactive, and interesting for students at a wide range of levels of mathematical ability.
A "Simple" Probability Problem.
Fifty Challenging Problems in Probability with Solutions
Ask Marilyn
  • Parade Magazine
  • 2003
Schaum's Outline in Genetics, 1 st Ed
  • 1969
The Power of Logical Thinking, New York: St
  • Parade Magazine. Matthew Carlton Department of Statistics Cal Poly State University
  • 1996
One question has three choices. I randomly choose A. Then the instructor tells us that C is incorrect. Should I switch to B before turning in my paper? Benno Bonke Rotterdam vos Savant
  • The Power of Logical Thinking
  • 1996
Schaum’s Outline in Genetics, 1st Ed., New York: McGraw-Hill
  • 1969