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Random Variables

Where are we? In set theory, we were talking about theoretical variables that only took on two values: either a 0 or 1. They were in the group or not. Now were going to talk about variables that can take on multiple values.

Random Variables
But wait, didnt we already talk about variables that had multiple values? When we were talking about central tendancy and dispersion, we were talking about specific distributions of datanow were going to start discussing theoretical distributions.

Data World vs. Theory World


Theory World: Idealization of reality (idealization of what you might expect from a simple experiment)
Theoretical probability distribution

Data World: data that results from an actual simple experiment


Frequency distribution

But First
Before we get into random variables, we need to spend a little bit of time thinking about:
the kinds of values variables can take on what those values mean how we can combine them

4 Standard Scales
Categorical (Nominal) Scale
Numbers serve only as labels Only relevant info is frequency

Ordinal Scale
Things that are ranked Numbers give you order of items, but not distance between/relation between

Interval Scale
Scale with arbitrary 0 point and arbitrary units However, units give you proportional relationship between values

Ratio Scale
Scale has an absolute 0 point Intervals between units is constant

What kind of scale is this?


Temperature Grades Number Scale Terror Alert Scale Class Rank What are other scales you are familiar with?

Discrete vs. Continuous Random Variables


Discrete
Finite number of outcomes
(x = sum of dice)

Countable infinite number of outcomes


Numbers from 1 to infinity

Continuous
Uncountably Infinite
(x=number of flips to get a head)

(Convergent series: the sum of 1-infinity approaches some value)

Probability Density Distributions


Discrete: draw on board
Probability mass function

Continuous
(x= spot where pointer lands) Probability mass funtion

Next:
Now that we know more about random variables, we can apply everything that weve learned so far. Graphing and displaying data Central tendency & dispersion Transformations of mean and variance Contingency Tables

Central Tendency in Random Variables


E(x)=(X*p(x)) Var(x)=((X-E(x))2*p(x))

Properties of Expectation
E(a)=a E(aX)=a*E(X) E(X+Y)=E(X)+E(Y) E(X+a)=E(X)+a E(XY)=E(X) * E(Y)

Properties of Variance
Var(aX)=a2Var(X) Var(X+a)=Var(X) Var(X-a)=Var(X) Var(X+Y)= Var(X) + Var(Y) Var(X2)=E(X)+Var(X)2

Contingency Tables for 2 random variables


A(yes) B (yes) not B(no) p(a) p(c) p(a+c) not A (no) p(b) p(d) p(b+d) p(a+b) p(c+d) 1

A is facilitative of B when p(B|A)>P(B) A is inhibitory for B when p(B|A)<P(B)