Street Science
Published in

Street Science

How To Really Understand Expected Value?

Expected value is not what you expect to be!

How To Really Understand Expected Value? — A cartoon that shows a stick figure with a fancy hat and a tie sitting inside a counter. A sign on top of the counter reads “$2 Window”. Beside the counter a flap-sign reads “10 Horse Races Daily!” There are two other stick figures with money in their hands queued up at the counter. The first stick figure says “I want Horse-777 to win!”
A Horse Racing Ticket Stand — illustrative art created by the author

Expected value is another one of those scientific terms like statistical significance that people misunderstand quite often. In this essay, I aim to clarify some of the common misconceptions about this concept.

We will begin by covering the historical origins of expected value. Then, we will…



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store