The total probability theorem, the "depends" argument and simulation.


Book: 
Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference On Teaching Statistics (ICOTS-7), Salvador, Brazil.
Authors: 
Yáñez Canal, G.
Editors: 
Rossman, A., & Chance, B.
Category: 
Year: 
2006
Publisher: 
Voorburg, The Netherlands: International Statistical Institute.
URL: 
http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/publications/17/C337.pdf
Abstract: 

As an alternative to the Total Probability Theorem, the "depends" argument that students use to calculate marginal probabilities is studied. We discuss an experience with undergraduate engineering students who took a computed aided basic probability course based on the frequency approach. The result of this experience shows that an adequate interpretation of the outcomes of simulated random experiments allows conjecturing and arguing algebraic results of the theory of probability.

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