After looking at how to conduct good science in our first episode, it’s time to deal with the basis of probability in this, the second episode of the miniseries “What is Science and How Does It Work?”. The most important thing about probability is the difference between dependent and independent events. Why do hot and cold streaks apply to only some casino games and not others? If the odds are 1 in 6 of rolling a 3, does rolling a die 6 times guarantee you’ll get exactly one 3? We also discuss the famous Monty Hall Problem and if firemen cause fires. Dive into the episode below; just don’t buy ice cream as it may cause drowning.
- In the show we mention that the Monty Hall Problem is from Let’s Make a Deal, a game show hosted by Monty Hall. In actuality, the Monty Hall Problem is only loosely based on the game show and is best known from Marilyn vos Savant‘s column in 1990.
- Our raw Show Notes for this episode (Expected Value Fallacy, Gambler’s Fallacy, Law of Large Numbers, Monty Hall Problem, and Correlation vs Causation)
- Our polished Additional Information for those looking for more on why rolling 6 dice doesn’t guarantee a 3 coming up and the Law of Large Numbers
- The Expected Value Fallacy is better known as the so called Law of Averages
- The Gambler’s Fallacy
- The Wikipedia page on the Law of Large Numbers (as mentioned in the show, this is a Master’s level topic, so don’t feel bad if you don’t understand it)
- If you enjoyed the Monty Hall Problem, you’ll also like the Gender Paradox which is another simple problem but has a strange outcome
- Wikipedia has more information on correlation versus causation; it’s also where we got our examples
- We’d be remiss if we didn’t include this great comic by xkcd on Correlation and Causation