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Innumeracy and risk-perception in healthcare

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Warning: This post was published more than 5 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 5 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Which of the following numbers represents the biggest risk of getting a disease? 1 in 100, 1 in 1000, or 1 in 10?

Almost 30% of Germans and 25% of Americans answered this question incorrectly in this study of statistical numeracy.

It’s an interesting reminder that healthcare professionals shouldn’t underestimate the statistical complexity of risk concepts: I think I’d previously have thought that these descriptions were fairly clear, but clearly they are not well understood.

This 1,516th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Health, , , , , .






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 4th March 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th February 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 31st December 2016)

David Miliband’s £6,000 blog (published 6th April 2006)

Litigation (published 16th December 2007)

Photo-a-day 117: Community in a Cube (published 26th April 2012)

HP Support Blog: Day 9 (published 25th August 2006)


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