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Numeracy - Expanded (15-item) Scale

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. doi: 10.1177/10775587070640020301
See also the original 3-item Numeracy measure by Schwartz et al. (1997) and the intermediate 11-item Numeracy measure by Lipkus et al. (2001).


Table of Contents


Description


History of Use


References


Description:

Purpose

The Numeracy measures were designed to assess numeracy, which is the ability to understand and use numeric information.
  • The 15-item measure adds 4 items to Lipkus et al.'s (2001) expansion of Schwartz et al.'s (1997) original measure.
  • Specifically, the expanded 15-item measure assesses understanding of base rates and complex likelihood calculations as well as risk, fractions, chance, proportions, and percentages.
  • See also the original Schwartz et al. (1997) 3-item measure and the intermediate Lipkus et al. (2007) 11-item measure.
Questions

15 items using a mixed free-response and multiple-choice format
Sub-scales

N/A
Domain


Psychometrics


Sample items

  • Imagine that you are taking a class and your chances of being asked a question in class are 1% during the first week of class and double each week
    thereafter (i.e., you would have a 2% chance in Week 2, a 4% chance in Week 3, an 8% chance in Week 4). What is the probability that you will be asked a question in class during Week 7?

References:

Scale:
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. doi: 10.1177/10775587070640020301
Other Versions of Numeracy:
  • Lipkus, I. M., Samsa, G., & Rimer, B. K. (2001). General performance on a Numeracy Scale among highly educated samples. Medical Decision Making, 21(1), 37-44. doi: 10.1177/0272989X0102100105
Uses:
  • Nelson, W., Reyna, V. F., Fagerlin, A., Lipkus, I., & Peters, E. (2008). Clinical implications of numeracy: Theory and practice. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 35(3), 261-274. doi: 10.1007/s12160-008-9037-8
  • Peters, E., Dieckmann, N. F., Mertz, C. K., Vaestfjaell, D., Slovic, P., & Hibbard, J. H. (2009). Bringing meaning to numbers: The impact of evaluative categories on decisions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 15(3), 213-227. doi: 10.1037/a0016978
  • Reyna, V. F., Nelson, W. L., Han, P. K., & Dieckmann, N. F. (2009). How numeracy influences risk comprehension and medical decision making. Psychological Bulletin, 135(6), 943-973. doi: 10.1037/a0017327

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