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Do the Numbers Speak by Themselves? Helping People Make Sense of Quantitative Information
PROCEEDINGS

, , University of Utah, United States

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Vancouver, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-76-1 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA

Abstract

In this study we investigated whether the addition of qualitative interpretations improves consumers’ understanding of quantitative data from clinical studies. We hypothesized that the potential benefits related to the addition of qualitative statements would vary according to the number of outcome measures reported. We used a repeated measures design with two within-subjects factors. The independent variables were Presentation Format and Number of Outcome Measures Reported. Presentation format had two levels: (1) exclusively quantitative information and (2) quantitative information enhanced by summarizing qualitative statements. Number of Outcome Measures Reported also had two levels: two and four outcome measures. The dependent variable was Text Comprehension, which was measured using a questionnaire composed of short open-ended questions. Results suggest that the addition of qualitative statements that summarize or highlight the main findings of clinical trials does increase comprehension when the trial involves four outcome variables.

Citation

Nakamura, C. & Zeng, Q. (2009). Do the Numbers Speak by Themselves? Helping People Make Sense of Quantitative Information. In T. Bastiaens, J. Dron & C. Xin (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2009--World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 2177-2182). Vancouver, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved May 22, 2019 from .

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