Q: How can we help people with low numeracy understand and use complex numerical information to make real world choices?
Numeracy defined in the broadest sense is the ability to understand and use numbers. Lower numerical skills have been related to poorer comprehension and suboptimal decision making in many domains including health and financial decision making, environmental risk management, and intelligence/political forecasting. However, there are ways to structure and communicate information that can help to mitigate these effects. We do basic and applied research on numeracy and decision making and consult with various private and government agencies.
Dieckmann, N. F., Peters, E., Baker, D., Leon, J., Benavides, M., Norris, A. (in press). The role of objective numeracy and fluid intelligence in sex-related protective behaviors. Current HIV Research; Special Issue: Improving risk communication about sexually transmitted diseases: Effective interventions and future directions.
Weller, J. A., Dieckmann, N. F., Tusler, M., Mertz, C.K, & Peters, E. (2013). Development and Testing of an Abbreviated Numeracy Scale: A Rasch Analysis Approach. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 26, 198–212.
Reyna, V. F., Nelson, W., Han, P., & Dieckmann, N. F. (2009). How numeracy influences risk reduction and medical decision making. Psychological Bulletin, 135(6), 943-973.
Dieckmann, N. F., Slovic, P., & Peters, E. (2009). The use of narrative evidence and explicit likelihood by decision makers varying in numeracy. Risk Analysis, 29(10), 1473-1488.
Peters, E., Hibbard, J. H., Slovic, P. & Dieckmann, N. F. (2007). Numeracy skill and the communication, comprehension, and use of risk and benefit information. Health affairs, 26(3), 741-748.
Peters, E, Dieckmann, N.F., Dixon, A., Slovic, P., Mertz, C.K.& Hibbard, J. H (2007). Less is more in presenting quality information to consumers. Medical Care Research and Review, 64(2), 169-190.