Fandom

Psychology Wiki

Inverse probability

34,202pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Statistics: Scientific method · Research methods · Experimental design · Undergraduate statistics courses · Statistical tests · Game theory · Decision theory


In probability theory, inverse probability is an obsolete term for the probability distribution of an unobserved variable. Given a probability distribution p(x|θ) for an observable quantity x conditional on an unobserved variable θ, the "inverse probability" is the posterior distribution p(θ|x). The distribution p(x|θ) itself is called the direct probability.

The inverse probability problem (in the 1700s and 1800s) was the problem of estimating a parameter from experimental data in the experimental sciences, especially astronomy and biology. A simple example would be the problem of estimating the position of a star in the sky (at a certain time on a certain date) for purposes of navigation. Given the data, one must estimate the true position (probably by averaging). This problem would now be considered one of inferential statistics.

The terms "direct probability" and "inverse probability" were in use until the middle part of the twentieth century, when the terms "likelihood function" and "posterior distribution" became prevalent.

See alsoEdit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki