Numeracy and Medical Decision Making
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. American University
This dissertation explores the concept of numeracy, the ability to use and understand numbers, and its association with health and medical decision making. Four studies were conducted. The first study assessed physicians' statistical literacy in a sample of obstetrician-gynecologists. The second study found that high and low numerate individuals were affected differently by the order in which information was presented to them. The third study found that numeracy was not associated with body mass index, physical activity, or the medical outcomes survey short form twenty. The fourth study found that smokers were more numerate than never smokers when controlling for demographic variables, but not intelligence or memory, and that numeracy was associated with intelligence, memory, and need for cognition. Finally, in studies two through four, it was found that around 60% of each sample was grouped as high- or low-numerate by both objective and subjective numeracy scales.
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