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Using the spreadsheet simulation

How can we use a spreadsheet model to simulate data for an experiment involving conditional probability?
An image of the simulation spreadsheet
Use the spreadsheet ‘Simulation 2’ to generate a set of (simulated) data for the ‘Dog ate my homework’ experiment.

Carrying out 24 trials should be simple – you just need to recalculate the spreadsheet. (Remember, Function-F9 will recalculate if available; otherwise, enter or change a value in any of the cells that are originally empty.)

To make things a little more challenging, find the outcome for 240 trials:

  • Recalculate the spreadsheet 10 times altogether.
  • Each time, make a note of the frequencies for each of the four outcomes (Honest/Accused, Honest/Believed, Lying/Accused, and Lying/Believed).
  • Find the total frequency of each outcome (and check that the total of all the frequencies comes to 240!)

Use the comments to share your results, and your estimated probability that an accused student is actually lying.

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Teaching Probability

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