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Do we need a public understanding of statistics?

[journal article]

Roten, Fabienne Crettaz von

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Abstract This paper explores arguments in favor of a public understanding of statistics and suggests its possible contributions to the analysis of surveys of attitudes toward science. Statistics permeates all aspects of life—from education, work, media, and health, to citizenship. For example, most media reporting includes statistical references to health, social and demographic trends, education, and economics. The pervasiveness of statistics poses a problem, as statistics is a difficult discipline associated with misunderstandings, which ruin trust and lead to misgivings. Civic scientific literacy covers statistics insufficiently, both theoretically and empirically. Finally, this paper formulates new explanations, built on statistical literacy, of empirical results found in surveys of attitudes toward science and suggests modes for the development of statistical literacy in this context.
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 243-249
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 15 (2006) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)