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Most people have no idea how to use percentages. Most of the population has no hope of understanding what's actually going on with this article.

That becomes scary when you're talking to a doctor about a test that returned a positive result. Does that doctor know how likely it is you actually have what you tested positive for? Are you going to get treatment for this thing?

Gerd Gigerenzer has a nice book about this: http://www.amazon.com/Reckoning-Risk-Learning-Live-Uncertain...

Here's one example about breast cancer testing: http://imgur.com/zO4zkl4




Indeed, I agree with your assessment of the statistical reasoning ability of the general public.

I think that articles like this one, if they were better, could move things (even if just a little bit) in a positive direction by educating the public. Unfortunately when they are as poorly written as this I think they do the exact opposite. Oh well.




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