Understanding and communicating risk and probabilities: Cognitive and emotional factors
It is well-documented that people struggle with probabilistic reasoning, and that our intuitions often fail us when it comes to interpreting probabilistic statements. Recent research has also investigated the effects of anxiety on our ability to interpret numerical information, and our willingness to make decisions on the basis of numbers and probabilities. This talk will first present an overview of some typical ways people might misunderstand probabilities, and will also provide evidence that probabilistic reasoning skills are linked to the quality of decisions and decision confidence. Then I will introduce the concept of mathematics anxiety, and its relation to numerical reasoning and decision making skills. I will also discuss the practical implications of this line of work.