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The relative likelihood of a particular outcome among all possible outcomes.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.
probabilitythe likelihood of a particular uncertain event occurring, measured on a scale from 0.0 (such an event is impossible) to 1.0 (such an event is certain to occur). People generally estimate probabilities on the basis of the relative frequency with which an event has occurred in the past, under given circumstances, and generalize from this past experience. In some circumstances it is easy to estimate the proportion of occasions on which an event occurs; for example, the probability of getting ‘heads’ when flipping a balanced coin is 0.5 because with such a coin in the long run we would get 50% ‘heads’ and 50% ‘tails’. In estimating probabilities in business situations, though, there may be no or only a few previous experiences that can be used to gauge the relative frequency of an event occurring. See also RISK AND UNCERTAINTY.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005