Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Law of averages

Correctly understood, the law of averages states the truism that a large sample of a particular probabilistic event will tend to reflect the underlying probabilities. For example, after tossing a "fair coin" 1000 times, we would expect the result to be approximately 500 heads results, because this would reflect the underlying .5 chance of a heads result for any given flip.

There are two common ways to misunderstand and misapply this law: