How Is Probability Used in Everyday Life?

Jonathan Kitchen/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Probability and the ability to understand and estimate the likelihood of any different combination of outcomes versus one another are very important in day to day life. There are a number of different types of activities people engage in that involve probability and chance whether they realize it or not. Some of these activities involve things like being late for work, saving money or signing up for a class.

Probability and chance both study the possibilities of different things happening based on a few known factors. Often, scientists, mathematicians and statisticians attempt to use idealized models of the real world to predict the behaviors and outcomes of certain people and scenarios. These can be used to try and understand probability in daily life. Almost every possible activity or outcome has a probability. For example, someone might wonder about the probability they will get a high enough grade on a test they have taken or if they will be accepted for a job they applied for. Some people worry about the probability that their bus or train might be late and make them late for work or the probability that the interest rates at their banks will go down. Some of these things can be modeled and estimated effectively with probability and statistical methods.