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The effect of order of presentation of verbal probability expressions on numerical estimates in a medical context.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21974729     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Many medical decisions are made on a probability estimate. Models of risk benefit calculations in health behaviour rarely articulate how people perceive and appraise such probability. Cognitive processes may mediate the processing of probability expressions and may be important to understand the meaning or the range of meanings that probability statements portray to patients. Past studies have indicated that verbal expressions of probability are vague and subject to individual interpretation. On the theoretical level when subjects are asked to translate a set of verbal probability expressions, ranging from high to low, into their equivalent numerical expressions subjects usually produce a continuum of numerical equivalents also ranging from high to low. In practice clinicians frequently communicate information about uncertainty to the patients by verbal probability estimates. This study explored the effect of the order of presentation of the verbal expressions on the numerical probabilities produced by a group of medical students (n = 87) in relation to medical probabilities. The results showed that the order of presentation (descending vs. random) of the verbal probability expressions was found to have a significant effect on three of the seven numerical probabilities produced by the subjects. The order effect is discussed to together with implications for clinical practice.
Authors:
A Bergenstrom; L Sherr
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychology, health & medicine     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1354-8506     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Health Med     Publication Date:  2003 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-06     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9604099     Medline TA:  Psychol Health Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  391-8     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
a Bloomberg School of Public Health , Johns Hopkins University , Baltimore , Maryland , USA.
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