Communicating uncertainty using words and numbers

Dhami, Mandeep K. ORCID logoORCID: and Mandel, David R. ORCID logoORCID: (2022) Communicating uncertainty using words and numbers. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 26 (6) . pp. 514-526. ISSN 1364-6613 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.tics.2022.03.002)

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Life in an increasingly information-rich but highly uncertain world calls for an effective means of communicating uncertainty to a range of audiences. Senders prefer to convey uncertainty using verbal (e.g. likely) rather than numeric (e.g. 75% chance) probabilities, even in consequential domains such as climate science. However, verbal probabilities can convey something other than uncertainty, and senders may exploit this. For instance, senders can maintain credibility after making erroneous predictions. While verbal probabilities afford ease of expression, they can be easily misunderstood, and the potential for miscommunication is not effectively mitigated by assigning (imprecise) numeric probabilities to words. When making consequential decisions, recipients prefer (precise) numeric probabilities.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 34923
Notes on copyright: Published version: Crown Copyright © 2022 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
User License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0)
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Mandeep Dhami
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2022 10:07
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2023 15:06

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