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Probability puzzles require you to weigh all the possibilities and pick the most likely outcome.

 Puzzle ID: #8067 Fun: (2.37) Difficulty: (2.78) Category: Probability Submitted By: mad-ade Corrected By: Winner4600

In the Country of Madadia there are two major taxi companies, Green cabs and Blue cabs.

A cab was involved in a hit and run accident at night outside the "Sweaty Chef" kebab shop. Here is some data:

a) Although the two companies are equal in size, 85% of cab accidents in the city of Madville, one of Madadia's largest cities, involve Green cabs and 15% involve Blue cabs.

b) A witness identified the cab in this particular accident as Blue.

The Madville court tested the reliability of the witness under the same circumstances that existed on the night of the accident and concluded that the witness correctly identified each one of the two colours 80% of the time and failed 20% of the time.

What is the probability that the cab involved in the accident was Blue rather than Green?

If it looks like an obvious problem in statistics, then consider the following argument:

The probability that the colour of the cab was Blue is 80%! After all, the witness is correct 80% of the time, and this time he said it was Blue!
Is this right?

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 jimbo Mar 14, 2003 I agree down to the 29% but then I said he is right 80% of the time so 29%x5/4 = 36.25%. I can't reconcile the difference between the two answers. Help? gnarldroot Sep 27, 2007 the possibility of the witness correctly identifying a blue car is 15%*80% = 12% meaning 12% out of all accidents will have a blue car responsible at 100% certainity. but the question was when a witness tells the police it was blue, what is the chance he is right? the percent of times he is mistaken in guessing blue is 17% (20%*85%) so 12/12+17 = 41 something% (user deleted) Mar 09, 2010 P(Cab is blue|Witness says blue) = P(Cab is blue AND Witness says blue) / P(Witness says blue) = ( 0.15 * 0.8 ) / (0.85*0.2 + 0.15*0. (user deleted) Mar 09, 2010 P(Cab is blue|Witness says blue) = P(Cab is blue AND Witness says blue) / P(Witness says blue) = ( 0.15 * 0.8 ) / ( 0.85*0.2 + 0.15*0.8 )