Numbers Don't Lie

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Numeric life is a better life

People who are good with numbers make better decision-makers. That is according to a research which found the less numerate students were more likely to be influenced by so-called ‘framing effects’.
For example, less numerate students tended to rate a student’s exam performance as better if they were told she had answered 74% of items correctly in her exam, than if they were told she had answered 26% incorrectly. By contrast, more numerate students were less affected by the way such information was presented.
In another experiment, students were given the chance to win cash if they picked a red bean from a jar. Less numerate students were more likely than numerate students (33% vs. 5%) to choose to take their chances with a jar that had 9 red beans out of 100, than with a jar that had 1 red bean among 10, probably because they were swayed by the sight of more red beans in the first case, even though the odds were poorer.
The differences in performance between the more and less numerate students couldn’t be explained by differences in their general intelligence, which was also measured.
“We believe that low-numeracy decision makers are left with information that is less complete and less understood, lacking the complexity and richness available to the more numerate”, the researchers concluded.



Blogger Kuvera said...

Does this research really tell us anything apart from the fact that numerate people are more numerate?! :-)

(Having not read the full paper...)

1:50 PM

Blogger Candy said...

Heh... I'll have to print this one out and share it - I'm in accounting - from now on, hubby, *I* make all the decisions, baby!

1:10 AM

Blogger indian_autumn said...

very vey interesting !!. have added ur blog to my favourites.......will visit daily ! LOL.....

7:29 AM

Blogger AL said...

i too am interested in random statistics. i recently came across a doozy. i read somewhere that 28.7% of blog readers don't remember what they read only 5 minutes after reading it. the other 71.3% just didn't care. mmmmm....thats good science.


3:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont know why i am posting a comment here. i am a student of demography and so numbers always matter, for me.going by percentages is easy on the eye i suppose! hv bookmarked this blog perhaps i m another 'numeric' in ur life.

9:44 PM


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