How to measure risk comprehension in educated samples

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Book Chapter

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013. The Berlin Numeracy Test is a psychometrically sound instrument designed to quickly assess statistical numeracy and risk comprehension in educated samples (e.g., college students or medical and business professionals). The test is available in multiple languages and formats including an online adaptive test that automaticallyscores data (http://www.riskliteracy.org). In this chapter, we review results of a validation study (n = 300) documenting convergent (e.g., cognitiveability, numeracy), discriminant (e.g., personality, life satisfaction), and predictive validity (e.g., numerical and non-numerical risky choices). The Berlin Numeracy Test was found t be the strongest predictor of a battery of everyday risky decisions (e.g., evaluating claims about medical treatments, consumer goods, and interpreting forecasts), providing more than twice the predictive power of other numeracy instruments. The Berlin Numeracy Test also accounted for unique variance beyond other related cognitive tests (e.g., cognitive re fl ection, working memory, and intelligence). Twenty additional validation studies (n = 5,036) indicated that the Berlin Numeracy Test maintained psychometric discriminability across 15 countries (e.g., China, England, Germany, Japan, India, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden, and the USA) and various samples (i.e., community samples, Mechanical Turk web panels, medical professionals). Discussion centers on construct validity and the bene fi ts and limits of adaptive testing.

Publication Title

Transparent Communication of Health Risks: Overcoming Cultural Differences