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Frequency of Outcomes in a Small Number of Trials

Summary

Areas of Science
Difficulty
 
Time Required
Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites
None
Material Availability
Readily Available
Cost
Very Low (under $20)
Credits
Gabriel Desjardins
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Abstract

People often draw conclusions from a small number of observations, and use those conclusions to evaluate the likelihood that an event will take place. But how easy is it to draw the wrong conclusion based on those observations? Will your predictions be accurate if an experiment is only performed a few times? The objective of this project is to determine what happens when a test with two equally-likely outcomes is performed only a small number of times.

You can test this by flipping a coin. A fair coin should have a 50/50 chance of landing either heads or tails. What happens if you flip a coin two times and record the results? What about ten times, twenty times, or even one hundred times? Do this and keep track of the total number of heads and tails for each set of flips. Does your overall result get closer to 50/50 as the number of flips increases? Why could it be potentially misleading to predict the odds of a coin landing heads or tails based on only a few coin flips?

Objective

The objective of this project is to determine what happens when a test with two equally-likely outcomes is performed only a small number of times.

Bibliography

  • Wikipedia Contributors (2014, February 24). Bernoulli Trial. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
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Variations

Show, using Bernoulli trials, what the likelihood of each outcome is.

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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Frequency of Outcomes in a Small Number of Trials." Science Buddies, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Math_p006/pure-mathematics/frequency-of-outcomes-in-a-small-number-of-trials. Accessed 18 May 2022.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2020, November 20). Frequency of Outcomes in a Small Number of Trials. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Math_p006/pure-mathematics/frequency-of-outcomes-in-a-small-number-of-trials


Last edit date: 2020-11-20
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