Talk:Mutual exclusivity

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I added the section about the comparison of mutual exclusivity with collective exhaustion. I did the same thing with the wikipedia stub on collectively exhaustive and crossed referenced both articles with each other. I am not a professional mathematician, so if I have made an error in this update please correct it and I'll have no worries.


I removed the stub tag from this article because the topic is narrow enough in scope to justify a very short entry. capitalist 03:38, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Mutually exclusive?[edit]

For example, there are only two possibilities for flipping a coin. ... flipping a head and flipping a tail are also mutually exclusive events.

After the flip action has occurred, an unlikely event could occur in which something causes the coin to separate completely in two halves at the horizontal midsection, from this point there is a 1 in 4 chance that the coin will land on both heads and tails. But I assume you are referring to a theoretically mutually exclusive situation.

Changed to:

For example, there are theoretically only two possibilities for flipping a coin.

Aykantspel (talk) 07:45, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes I know. This may win an award for being the most trivial wikipedia edit of all time.


Shouldn't this be at Mutual exclusivity (obviously with a redirect from the current title) to conform to the guideline that article titles should be a noun rather than an adjective? Wikipedia:Naming_conventions#Redirect_adjectives_to_nouns JulesH 15:58, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Collectively exhaustive should actually be collective exhaustion too. capitalist 02:38, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I've made the change but I'm not sure what the "double redirect" issue is that I'm supposed to check for. capitalist 02:40, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Urggg ... "mutual exclusivity" and "collective exhaustion" really don't sound natural, and will need redirects or relabelling every time the terms are used. It would be better to call the articles "mutually exclusive events" and "collectively exhuastive events" - in the same way as we have prime number not "primeness", even and odd numbers not "evenness and oddness", finite set not "finiteness" etc. Gandalf61 11:10, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Done. I hope this is the last time I have to move these two articles; they're getting heavy! LOL capitalist 04:50, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
And nine years later the entry gets moved back. I think Gandalf's original argument still stands; "Mutual Exclusivity" is a poor choice of title. capitalist (talk) 15:09, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

non-mathematical uses[edit]

What about (non-mathematical) uses of concepts that are (at least purportedly) mutually exclusive? Are happiness and sadness mutually exclusive? Is there any grounds for saying that they are?

For instance, the wikipedia article on Literal and figurative language states:

a sentence, "When I first saw her, my soul began to quiver," . . . might mean, "When I first saw her, I began to fall in love," or, "When I first saw her, I began to panic," or something else entirely. Whereas the ground's thirst can only sensibly refer to its dryness, the soul may quiver to represent a whole range of feelings, including mutually exclusive ones.

Does anyone know how to logically construe this mutual exclusivity?

Also, some will claim that the cardinal virtues (two of them are courage and temperance) are both conceptually exhaustive and mutualy exclusive, such that any other virtue is derivable from those four. Is this at all cogent?

Whoistheroach 18:08, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

These are still mathemetical questions. The question about happiness and sadness being ME is simply saying, "suppose we have a set, "H", which is comprised of all emotional states with the characteristic that they meet some specific definition of happiness. Further, suppose there is a set "S" which is comprised of all emotional states which meet some specific definition of sadness. Are H and S mutually exclusive sets?" The nature of the elements of the sets doesn't matter; it could be outcomes of a die roll, emotional states, my favorite meals, animals that are cute, or whatever. That doesn't change the mathematical nature of the concept of mutual exclusivity. capitalist 04:13, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Examples needed[edit]

I have no problems understanding this concept but don't assume that everyone is the same. Examples of mutual exclusivity would be nice for this article.-- (talk) 21:50, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

A coin flip is a not a binary event.[edit]

A coin flip is a not a binary event and therefore not a very good example to use.

A much better example of an event which is a binary is, BINARY LOGIC! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:35, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Red card and spade example[edit]

The example where a red card and a spade are drawn assumes the order red card then spade is drawn, whereas the preceding text seems to imply that the cards could be drawn in any order so long as one of each is drawn. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Set theory[edit]

This concept applies to set theory, where this is called a disjoint set - see Wikibook - Set Theory section 'Intersection'. Perhaps a section can be added that hints at this because it is not immediately obvious.

Steztric (talk) 09:04, 8 October 2013 (UTC)Steztric

"(Cannot both happen)" or "(Both cannot happen)"[edit]

Refer to the last line of the first paragraph. Both of these wordings imply the exact same meaning. The difference is that the latter has better flow to it and therefore is less likely to cause confusion for the reader.