Underestimating the probability of coincidence

dc.contributor.authorMuller, M. A.en_ZA
dc.identifier.citationMuller, M. A. 2014. Underestimating the probability of coincidence. Obiter, 35(2):173-187.en_ZA
dc.identifier.issnISSN: 1682-5853 (print)en_ZA
dc.descriptionCITATION: Muller, M. A. 2014. Underestimating the probability of coincidence. Obiter, 35(2):173-187.en_ZA
dc.descriptionThe original publication is available at
dc.description.abstractCoincidences are more common than most people might expect. It is quite possible that different pieces of evidence that seem to point in the same direction do so coincidentally. We come to the best possible conclusion about (say) the probability of guilt only after careful analysis of the combination of probabilities of the respective pieces of evidence has been performed in conformance with the principles of probability theory. Several methods are available for the evaluation and handling of such contingencies. Depending on the way a particular situation presents itself, Bayes’s theorem in one of its equivalent guises is often used. The danger in avoiding this type of reasoning is that incorrect conclusions may be drawn, believing that events are somehow beyond coincidence. When it happens in a court of law it may be extremely prejudicial to the defendant. Coincidences are best understood within the context of probability theory.en_ZA
dc.format.extent14 pagesen_ZA
dc.publisherObiter Law Journal: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Faculty of Lawen_ZA
dc.subjectCoincidence theory (Mathematics)en_ZA
dc.subjectProbability theoryen_ZA
dc.titleUnderestimating the probability of coincidenceen_ZA
dc.description.versionPost printen_ZA
dc.rights.holderAuthor retain copyright

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