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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Statistics, 2nd Edition by Robert Donnelly

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Counting Principles

To use classical probability, which we introduced way back in Chapter 6, we need to be able to count the number of events of interest along with the total number of events that are possible in the sample space. For simple events, like rolling a single die, the number of possible outcomes (six) is obvious. But for more complex events, like a state lottery drawing, we need to rely on techniques known as counting principles to arrive at the correct answer, so let’s look at these techniques.

The Fundamental Counting Principle

After a tough round of golf on a hot afternoon, Brian, John, and I decide to revive our spirits at the ice cream store on the way home. There I’m overwhelmed with deciding between four flavors and three ...

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