0
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      Leveraging Math Cognition to Combat Health Innumeracy

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisher
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Rational numbers (i.e., fractions, percentages, decimals, and whole-number frequencies) are notoriously difficult mathematical constructs. Yet correctly interpreting rational numbers is imperative for understanding health statistics, such as gauging the likelihood of side effects from a medication. Several pernicious biases affect health decision-making involving rational numbers. In our novel developmental framework, the natural-number bias—a tendency to misapply knowledge about natural numbers to all numbers—is the mechanism underlying other biases that shape health decision-making. Natural-number bias occurs when people automatically process natural-number magnitudes and disregard ratio magnitudes. Math-cognition researchers have identified individual differences and environmental factors underlying natural-number bias and devised ways to teach people how to avoid these biases. Although effective interventions from other areas of research can help adults evaluate numerical health information, they circumvent the core issue: people’s penchant to automatically process natural-number magnitudes and disregard ratio magnitudes. We describe the origins of natural-number bias and how researchers may harness the bias to improve rational-number understanding and ameliorate innumeracy in real-world contexts, including health. We recommend modifications to formal math education to help children learn the connections among natural and rational numbers. We also call on researchers to consider individual differences people bring to health decision-making contexts and how measures from math cognition might identify those who would benefit most from support when interpreting health statistics. Investigating innumeracy with an interdisciplinary lens could advance understanding of innumeracy in theoretically meaningful and practical ways.

          Related collections

          Most cited references151

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          Categorization and Representation of Physics Problems by Experts and Novices*

            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Core knowledge.

            Human cognition is founded, in part, on four systems for representing objects, actions, number, and space. It may be based, as well, on a fifth system for representing social partners. Each system has deep roots in human phylogeny and ontogeny, and it guides and shapes the mental lives of adults. Converging research on human infants, non-human primates, children and adults in diverse cultures can aid both understanding of these systems and attempts to overcome their limits.
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Measuring numeracy without a math test: development of the Subjective Numeracy Scale.

              Basic numeracy skills are necessary before patients can understand the risks of medical treatments. Previous research has used objective measures, similar to mathematics tests, to evaluate numeracy. To design a subjective measure (i.e., self-assessment) of quantitative ability that distinguishes low- and high-numerate individuals yet is less aversive, quicker to administer, and more usable for telephone and Internet surveys than existing numeracy measures. Paper-and-pencil questionnaires. The general public (N = 703) surveyed at 2 hospitals. Forty-nine subjective numeracy questions were compared to measures of objective numeracy. An 8-item measure, the Subjective Numeracy Scale (SNS), was developed through several rounds of testing. Four items measure people's beliefs about their skill in performing various mathematical operations, and 4 measure people's preferences regarding the presentation of numerical information. The SNS was significantly correlated with Lipkus and others' objective numeracy scale (correlations: 0.63-0.68) yet was completed in less time (24 s/item v. 31 s/item, P < 0.05) and was perceived as less stressful (1.62 v. 2.69, P < 0.01) and less frustrating (1.92 v. 2.88, P < 0.01). Fifty percent of participants who completed the SNS volunteered to participate in another study, whereas only 8% of those who completed the Lipkus and others scale similarly volunteered (odds ratio = 11.00, 95% confidence interval = 2.14-56.65). The SNS correlates well with mathematical test measures of objective numeracy but can be administered in less time and with less burden. In addition, it is much more likely to leave participants willing to participate in additional research and shows much lower rates of missing or incomplete data.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Perspectives on Psychological Science
                Perspect Psychol Sci
                SAGE Publications
                1745-6916
                1745-6924
                January 2023
                August 09 2022
                January 2023
                : 18
                : 1
                : 152-177
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Psychological Sciences, Kent State University
                [2 ]Department of Mathematics and Statistics, San Jose State University
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky
                [4 ]Department of Human Development, Teachers College, Columbia University
                [5 ]Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
                Article
                10.1177/17456916221083277
                4669f48d-1e16-46d6-9cd3-ef663920f7b4
                © 2023

                http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license

                History

                Comments

                Comment on this article