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Introductory Business Statistics

5.1 Properties of Continuous Probability Density Functions

Introductory Business Statistics5.1 Properties of Continuous Probability Density Functions
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  1. Preface
  2. 1 Sampling and Data
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 Definitions of Statistics, Probability, and Key Terms
    3. 1.2 Data, Sampling, and Variation in Data and Sampling
    4. 1.3 Levels of Measurement
    5. 1.4 Experimental Design and Ethics
    6. Key Terms
    7. Chapter Review
    8. Homework
    9. References
    10. Solutions
  3. 2 Descriptive Statistics
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Display Data
    3. 2.2 Measures of the Location of the Data
    4. 2.3 Measures of the Center of the Data
    5. 2.4 Sigma Notation and Calculating the Arithmetic Mean
    6. 2.5 Geometric Mean
    7. 2.6 Skewness and the Mean, Median, and Mode
    8. 2.7 Measures of the Spread of the Data
    9. Key Terms
    10. Chapter Review
    11. Formula Review
    12. Practice
    13. Homework
    14. Bringing It Together: Homework
    15. References
    16. Solutions
  4. 3 Probability Topics
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Terminology
    3. 3.2 Independent and Mutually Exclusive Events
    4. 3.3 Two Basic Rules of Probability
    5. 3.4 Contingency Tables and Probability Trees
    6. 3.5 Venn Diagrams
    7. Key Terms
    8. Chapter Review
    9. Formula Review
    10. Practice
    11. Bringing It Together: Practice
    12. Homework
    13. Bringing It Together: Homework
    14. References
    15. Solutions
  5. 4 Discrete Random Variables
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Hypergeometric Distribution
    3. 4.2 Binomial Distribution
    4. 4.3 Geometric Distribution
    5. 4.4 Poisson Distribution
    6. Key Terms
    7. Chapter Review
    8. Formula Review
    9. Practice
    10. Homework
    11. References
    12. Solutions
  6. 5 Continuous Random Variables
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Properties of Continuous Probability Density Functions
    3. 5.2 The Uniform Distribution
    4. 5.3 The Exponential Distribution
    5. Key Terms
    6. Chapter Review
    7. Formula Review
    8. Practice
    9. Homework
    10. References
    11. Solutions
  7. 6 The Normal Distribution
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 The Standard Normal Distribution
    3. 6.2 Using the Normal Distribution
    4. 6.3 Estimating the Binomial with the Normal Distribution
    5. Key Terms
    6. Chapter Review
    7. Formula Review
    8. Practice
    9. Homework
    10. References
    11. Solutions
  8. 7 The Central Limit Theorem
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 The Central Limit Theorem for Sample Means
    3. 7.2 Using the Central Limit Theorem
    4. 7.3 The Central Limit Theorem for Proportions
    5. 7.4 Finite Population Correction Factor
    6. Key Terms
    7. Chapter Review
    8. Formula Review
    9. Practice
    10. Homework
    11. References
    12. Solutions
  9. 8 Confidence Intervals
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 A Confidence Interval for a Population Standard Deviation, Known or Large Sample Size
    3. 8.2 A Confidence Interval for a Population Standard Deviation Unknown, Small Sample Case
    4. 8.3 A Confidence Interval for A Population Proportion
    5. 8.4 Calculating the Sample Size n: Continuous and Binary Random Variables
    6. Key Terms
    7. Chapter Review
    8. Formula Review
    9. Practice
    10. Homework
    11. References
    12. Solutions
  10. 9 Hypothesis Testing with One Sample
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Null and Alternative Hypotheses
    3. 9.2 Outcomes and the Type I and Type II Errors
    4. 9.3 Distribution Needed for Hypothesis Testing
    5. 9.4 Full Hypothesis Test Examples
    6. Key Terms
    7. Chapter Review
    8. Formula Review
    9. Practice
    10. Homework
    11. References
    12. Solutions
  11. 10 Hypothesis Testing with Two Samples
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Comparing Two Independent Population Means
    3. 10.2 Cohen's Standards for Small, Medium, and Large Effect Sizes
    4. 10.3 Test for Differences in Means: Assuming Equal Population Variances
    5. 10.4 Comparing Two Independent Population Proportions
    6. 10.5 Two Population Means with Known Standard Deviations
    7. 10.6 Matched or Paired Samples
    8. Key Terms
    9. Chapter Review
    10. Formula Review
    11. Practice
    12. Homework
    13. Bringing It Together: Homework
    14. References
    15. Solutions
  12. 11 The Chi-Square Distribution
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 Facts About the Chi-Square Distribution
    3. 11.2 Test of a Single Variance
    4. 11.3 Goodness-of-Fit Test
    5. 11.4 Test of Independence
    6. 11.5 Test for Homogeneity
    7. 11.6 Comparison of the Chi-Square Tests
    8. Key Terms
    9. Chapter Review
    10. Formula Review
    11. Practice
    12. Homework
    13. Bringing It Together: Homework
    14. References
    15. Solutions
  13. 12 F Distribution and One-Way ANOVA
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 Test of Two Variances
    3. 12.2 One-Way ANOVA
    4. 12.3 The F Distribution and the F-Ratio
    5. 12.4 Facts About the F Distribution
    6. Key Terms
    7. Chapter Review
    8. Formula Review
    9. Practice
    10. Homework
    11. References
    12. Solutions
  14. 13 Linear Regression and Correlation
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 The Correlation Coefficient r
    3. 13.2 Testing the Significance of the Correlation Coefficient
    4. 13.3 Linear Equations
    5. 13.4 The Regression Equation
    6. 13.5 Interpretation of Regression Coefficients: Elasticity and Logarithmic Transformation
    7. 13.6 Predicting with a Regression Equation
    8. 13.7 How to Use Microsoft Excel® for Regression Analysis
    9. Key Terms
    10. Chapter Review
    11. Practice
    12. Solutions
  15. A | Statistical Tables
  16. B | Mathematical Phrases, Symbols, and Formulas
  17. Index

The graph of a continuous probability distribution is a curve. Probability is represented by area under the curve. We have already met this concept when we developed relative frequencies with histograms in Chapter 2. The relative area for a range of values was the probability of drawing at random an observation in that group. Again with the Poisson distribution in Chapter 4, the graph in Example 4.14 used boxes to represent the probability of specific values of the random variable. In this case, we were being a bit casual because the random variables of a Poisson distribution are discrete, whole numbers, and a box has width. Notice that the horizontal axis, the random variable x, purposefully did not mark the points along the axis. The probability of a specific value of a continuous random variable will be zero because the area under a point is zero. Probability is area.

The curve is called the probability density function (abbreviated as pdf). We use the symbol f(x) to represent the curve. f(x) is the function that corresponds to the graph; we use the density function f(x) to draw the graph of the probability distribution.

Area under the curve is given by a different function called the cumulative distribution function (abbreviated as cdf). The cumulative distribution function is used to evaluate probability as area. Mathematically, the cumulative probability density function is the integral of the pdf, and the probability between two values of a continuous random variable will be the integral of the pdf between these two values: the area under the curve between these values. Remember that the area under the pdf for all possible values of the random variable is one, certainty. Probability thus can be seen as the relative percent of certainty between the two values of interest.

  • The outcomes are measured, not counted.
  • The entire area under the curve and above the x-axis is equal to one.
  • Probability is found for intervals of x values rather than for individual x values.
  • P(c < x < d) is the probability that the random variable X is in the interval between the values c and d. P(c < x < d) is the area under the curve, above the x-axis, to the right of c and the left of d.
  • P(x = c) = 0 The probability that x takes on any single individual value is zero. The area below the curve, above the x-axis, and between x = c and x = c has no width, and therefore no area (area = 0). Since the probability is equal to the area, the probability is also zero.
  • P(c < x < d) is the same as P(c ≤ x ≤ d) because probability is equal to area.

We will find the area that represents probability by using geometry, formulas, technology, or probability tables. In general, integral calculus is needed to find the area under the curve for many probability density functions. When we use formulas to find the area in this textbook, the formulas were found by using the techniques of integral calculus.

There are many continuous probability distributions. When using a continuous probability distribution to model probability, the distribution used is selected to model and fit the particular situation in the best way.

In this chapter and the next, we will study the uniform distribution, the exponential distribution, and the normal distribution. The following graphs illustrate these distributions.

This graph shows a uniform distribution. The horizontal axis ranges from 0 to 10. The distribution is modeled by a rectangle extending from x = 2 to x = 8.8. A region from x = 3 to x = 6 is shaded inside the rectangle. The shaded area represents P(3  x < 6).
Figure 5.2 The graph shows a Uniform Distribution with the area between x = 3 and x = 6 shaded to represent the probability that the value of the random variable X is in the interval between three and six.
Figure 5.3 The graph shows an Exponential Distribution with the area between x = 2 and x = 4 shaded to represent the probability that the value of the random variable X is in the interval between two and four.
This graph shows an exponential distribution. The graph slopes downward. It begins at a point on the y-axis and approaches the x-axis at the right edge of the graph. The region under the graph from x = 2 to x = 4 is shaded to represent P(2 < x < 4).
Figure 5.4 The graph shows the Standard Normal Distribution with the area between x = 1 and x = 2 shaded to represent the probability that the value of the random variable X is in the interval between one and two.

For continuous probability distributions, PROBABILITY = AREA.

Example 5.1

Consider the function f(x) = 120120 for 0 ≤ x ≤ 20. x = a real number. The graph of f(x) = 120120 is a horizontal line. However, since 0 ≤ x ≤ 20, f(x) is restricted to the portion between x = 0 and x = 20, inclusive.

This shows the graph of the function f(x) = 1/20. A horiztonal line ranges from the point (0, 1/20) to the point (20, 1/20). A vertical line extends from the x-axis to the end of the line at point (20, 1/20) creating a rectangle.
Figure 5.5

f(x) = 120120 for 0 ≤ x ≤ 20.

The graph of f(x) = 120120 is a horizontal line segment when 0 ≤ x ≤ 20.

The area between f(x) = 120120 where 0 ≤ x ≤ 20 and the x-axis is the area of a rectangle with base = 20 and height = 120120.

AREA=20( 1 20 )=1 AREA=20( 1 20 )=1

Suppose we want to find the area between f(x) = 120120 and the x-axis where 0 < x < 2.

This shows the graph of the function f(x) = 1/20. A horiztonal line ranges from the point (0, 1/20) to the point (20, 1/20). A vertical line extends from the x-axis to the end of the line at point (20, 1/20) creating a rectangle. A region is shaded inside the rectangle from x = 0 to x = 2.
Figure 5.6

AREA = (2  0)( 1 20 ) = 0.1 AREA = (2  0)( 1 20 ) = 0.1

(2 0) = 2 = base of a rectangle (2 0) = 2 = base of a rectangle

Reminder

area of a rectangle = (base)(height).

The area corresponds to a probability. The probability that x is between zero and two is 0.1, which can be written mathematically as P(0 < x < 2) = P(x < 2) = 0.1.

Suppose we want to find the area between f(x) = 120120 and the x-axis where 4 < x < 15.

This shows the graph of the function f(x) = 1/20. A horiztonal line ranges from the point (0, 1/20) to the point (20, 1/20). A vertical line extends from the x-axis to the end of the line at point (20, 1/20) creating a rectangle. A region is shaded inside the rectangle from x = 4 to x = 15.
Figure 5.7

AREA = (15  4)( 1 20 ) = 0.55 AREA = (15  4)( 1 20 ) = 0.55

(15  4) = 11 = the base of a rectangle (15  4) = 11 = the base of a rectangle

The area corresponds to the probability P(4 < x < 15) = 0.55.

Suppose we want to find P(x = 15). On an x-y graph, x = 15 is a vertical line. A vertical line has no width (or zero width). Therefore, P(x = 15) = (base)(height) = (0) ( 1 20 ) ( 1 20 ) = 0

This shows the graph of the function f(x) = 1/20. A horiztonal line ranges from the point (0, 1/20) to the point (20, 1/20). A vertical line extends from the x-axis to the end of the line at point (20, 1/20) creating a rectangle. A vertical line extends from the horizontal axis to the graph at x = 15.
Figure 5.8

P(Xx), which can also be written as P(X < x) for continuous distributions, is called the cumulative distribution function or CDF. Notice the "less than or equal to" symbol. We can also use the CDF to calculate P(X > x). The CDF gives "area to the left" and P(X > x) gives "area to the right." We calculate P(X > x) for continuous distributions as follows: P(X > x) = 1 – P (X < x).

This shows the graph of the function f(x) = 1/20. A horiztonal line ranges from the point (0, 1/20) to the point (20, 1/20). A vertical line extends from the x-axis to the end of the line at point (20, 1/20) creating a rectangle. The area to the left of a value, x, is shaded.
Figure 5.9

Label the graph with f(x) and x. Scale the x and y axes with the maximum x and y values. f(x) = 1 20 1 20 , 0 ≤ x ≤ 20.

To calculate the probability that x is between two values, look at the following graph. Shade the region between x = 2.3 and x = 12.7. Then calculate the shaded area of a rectangle.

This shows the graph of the function f(x) = 1/20. A horiztonal line ranges from the point (0, 1/20) to the point (20, 1/20). A vertical line extends from the x-axis to the end of the line at point (20, 1/20) creating a rectangle. A region is shaded inside the rectangle from x = 2.3 to x = 12.7
Figure 5.10

P(2.3<x<12.7)=(base)(height)=(12.72.3)( 1 20 )=0.52 P(2.3<x<12.7)=(base)(height)=(12.72.3)( 1 20 )=0.52

Try It 5.1

Consider the function f(x) = 1 8 1 8 for 0 ≤ x ≤ 8. Draw the graph of f(x) and find P(2.5 < x < 7.5).

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