Show Summary Details

p. 1099. Curiosities and dilemmaslocked

  • John Haigh


‘Curiosities and dilemmas’ looks at some unusual probabilistic phenomena, before applying probability theory to modern day issues. It is accepted that a game which favours the house cannot ever favour the player. However, Parrondo's paradox comprised just such a game, which was reconciled into a mathematical formulation proving the house always wins. Simpson's paradox shows the perils of working with proportions rather than absolute numbers. An individual's probability to develop a disease is now highly predictable thanks to genetics. This can provide painful life choices for families, or potentially lead to discrimination from insurers. It is important to remember in these situations that probability does not equal certainty.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.