Unconditional Probability

DEFINITION of 'Unconditional Probability'

The probability that an event will occur, not contingent on any prior or related results. An unconditional probability is the independent chance that a single outcome results from a sample of possible outcomes. To find the unconditional probability of an event, sum the outcomes of the event and divide by the total number of possible outcomes.

Unconditional Probability


Also referred to as marginal probability.

BREAKING DOWN 'Unconditional Probability'

Conditional probability measures the chance of an occurrence ignoring any knowledge gained from previous or external events. Since this probability ignores new information, it remains constant. For example, let's examine a group of stocks. A stock can either be a winner, which earns a positive income, or a loser, which has a negative income. Out of five stocks, stock A and B are winners, while C, D and E are losers. What is the unconditional probability of choosing a winning stock? Since two outcomes out of a possible five will produce a winner, the unconditional probability is 40% ( 2 / 5 ).

RELATED TERMS
  1. Symmetrical Distribution

    A situation in which the values of variables occur at regular ...
  2. Default Probability

    The degree of likelihood that the borrower of a loan or debt ...
  3. Value At Risk - VaR

    A statistical technique used to measure and quantify the level ...
  4. A Priori Probability

    Probability calculated by logically examining existing information. ...
  5. Risk

    The chance that an investment's actual return will be different ...
  6. Volatility

    1. A statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    An Introduction To Value at Risk (VAR)

    Volatility is not the only way to measure risk. Learn about the "new science of risk management".
  2. Fundamental Analysis

    Find The Right Fit With Probability Distributions

    Discover a few of the most popular probability distributions and how to calculate them.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    5 Ways To Measure Mutual Fund Risk

    These statistical measurements highlight how to mitigate risk and increase rewards.
  4. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Find The Highest Returns With The Sharpe Ratio

    Learn how to follow the efficient frontier to increase your chances of successful investing.
  5. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Bet Smarter With The Monte Carlo Simulation

    This technique can reduce uncertainty in estimating future outcomes.
  6. Active Trading Fundamentals

    How To Convert Value At Risk To Different Time Periods

    Volatility is not the only way to measure risk. Learn about the "new science of risk management".
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Monte Carlo Simulation With GBM

    Learn to predict future events through a series of random trials.
  8. Investing

    3 Healthy Financial Habits for 2016

    ”Winning” investors don't just set it and forget it. They consistently take steps to adapt their investment plan in the face of changing markets.
  9. Investing

    How to Ballast a Portfolio with Bonds

    If January and early February performance is any guide, there’s a new normal in financial markets today: Heightened volatility.
  10. Economics

    The Truth about Productivity

    Why has labor market productivity slowed sharply around the world in recent years? One of the greatest economic mysteries out there.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is finance?

    "Finance" is a broad term that describes two related activities: the study of how money is managed and the actual process ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between positive and normative economics?

    Positive economics is objective and fact based, while normative economics is subjective and value based. Positive economic ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do plane tickets get cheaper closer to the date of departure?

    The price of flights usually increases one month prior to the date of departure. Flights are usually cheapest between three ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is Colombia an emerging market economy?

    Colombia meets the criteria of an emerging market economy. The South American country has a much lower gross domestic product, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  2. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  3. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  4. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  5. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
Trading Center