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Title: From reading numbers to seeing ratios: a benefit of icons for risk comprehension
Author: Tubau Sala, Elisabet
Rodríguez-Ferreiro, Javier
Barberia, Itxaso
Colomé, Àngels
Keywords: Raonament (Psicologia)
Reasoning (Psychology)
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Abstract: Promoting a better understanding of statistical data is becoming increasingly important for improving risk comprehension and decision-making. In this regard, previous studies on Bayesian problem solving have shown that iconic representations help infer frequencies in sets and subsets. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which icons enhance performance remain unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the benefit offered by icon arrays lies in a better alignment between presented and requested relationships, which should facilitate the comprehension of the requested ratio beyond the represented quantities. To this end, we analyzed individual risk estimates based on data presented either in standard verbal presentations (percentages and natural frequency formats) or as icon arrays. Compared to the other formats, icons led to estimates that were more accurate, and importantly, promoted the use of equivalent expressions for the requested probability. Furthermore, whereas the accuracy of the estimates based on verbal formats depended on their alignment with the text, all the estimates based on icons were equally accurate. Therefore, these results support the proposal that icons enhance the comprehension of the ratio and its mapping onto the requested probability and point to relational misalignment as potential interference for text-based Bayesian reasoning. The present findings also argue against an intrinsic difficulty with understanding single-event probabilities.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Psychological Research-Psychologische Forschung, 2019, vol. 83, num. 8, p. 1808-1816
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ISSN: 0340-0727
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Cognició, Desenvolupament i Psicologia de l'Educació)

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