The public's probabilistic numeracy : how tasks, education and exposure to games of chance shape it

Hertwig, Ralph and Zangerl, Monika Andrea and Biedert, Esther and Margraf, Jürgen. (2008) The public's probabilistic numeracy : how tasks, education and exposure to games of chance shape it. Journal of behavioral decision making, Vol. 21, H. 4. pp. 457-470.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5259909

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As we navigate a world full of uncertainties and risks, dominated by statistics, we need to be able to think statistically. Very few studies investigating people's ability to understand simple concepts and rules from probability theory have drawn representative samples from the public. For this reason we investigated a representative sample of 1000 Swiss citizens, using six probabilistic problems. Most reasoned appropriately in problems representing pure applications of probability theory, but failed to do so in approximations of real-world scenarios - a disparity we replicated in a sample of first-year psychology students. Additionally, education is associated with probabilistic numeracy in the former but not the latter type of problems. We discuss possible reasons for these task disparities and suggest that gaining a comprehensive picture of citizens' probabilistic competence and its determinants requires using both types of tasks.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Cognitive and Decision Sciences (Hertwig)
UniBasel Contributors:Hertwig, Ralph
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:John Wiley
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:24
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:42

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