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Visual aids improve diagnostic inferences and metacognitive judgment calibration.

Garcia-Retamero R, Cokely ET, Hoffrage U - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: In the numerical condition, many patients-especially those with low numeracy-misinterpreted the predictive value of the tests and profoundly overestimated the accuracy of their inferences.Metacognitive judgment calibration mediated the relationship between numeracy and accuracy of diagnostic inferences.We conclude that well-designed risk communications can inform patients about healthrelevant numerical information while helping them assess the quality of their own risk comprehension.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Psychology, Facultad de PsicologĂ­a, University of Granada , Granada, Spain, ; Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Michigan Technological University , Houghton, MI, USA ; Max Planck Institute for Human Development , Berlin, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Visual aids can improve comprehension of risks associated with medical treatments, screenings, and lifestyles. Do visual aids also help decision makers accurately assess their risk comprehension? That is, do visual aids help them become well calibrated? To address these questions, we investigated the benefits of visual aids displaying numerical information and measured accuracy of self-assessment of diagnostic inferences (i.e., metacognitive judgment calibration) controlling for individual differences in numeracy. Participants included 108 patients who made diagnostic inferences about three medical tests on the basis of information about the sensitivity and false-positive rate of the tests and disease prevalence. Half of the patients received the information in numbers without a visual aid, while the other half received numbers along with a grid representing the numerical information. In the numerical condition, many patients-especially those with low numeracy-misinterpreted the predictive value of the tests and profoundly overestimated the accuracy of their inferences. Metacognitive judgment calibration mediated the relationship between numeracy and accuracy of diagnostic inferences. In contrast, in the visual aid condition, patients at all levels of numeracy showed high-levels of inferential accuracy and metacognitive judgment calibration. Results indicate that accurate metacognitive assessment may explain the beneficial effects of visual aids and numeracy-a result that accords with theory suggesting that metacognition is an essential part of risk literacy. We conclude that well-designed risk communications can inform patients about healthrelevant numerical information while helping them assess the quality of their own risk comprehension.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Visual aid representing the overall number of women at risk, the number of women who have breast cancer, and the number of women who obtained a positive mammogram.
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Figure 1: Visual aid representing the overall number of women at risk, the number of women who have breast cancer, and the number of women who obtained a positive mammogram.

Mentions: Half of the patients received the information about the sensitivity and false-positive rate of the tests and prevalence of the diseases in numbers without a visual aid. The other half received numbers along with a grid representing the numerical information. Figure 1 presents the grid that patients received in the mammography task. The visual display represented the number of women who obtained a positive mammogram, the number of women who have breast cancer, and the overall number of women at risk. Women were depicted as squares as previous research has found no differences in effects of arrays with faces compared to more abstract symbols such as squares or circles (Stone et al., 2003; Gaissmaier et al., 2012).


Visual aids improve diagnostic inferences and metacognitive judgment calibration.

Garcia-Retamero R, Cokely ET, Hoffrage U - Front Psychol (2015)

Visual aid representing the overall number of women at risk, the number of women who have breast cancer, and the number of women who obtained a positive mammogram.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4504147&req=5

Figure 1: Visual aid representing the overall number of women at risk, the number of women who have breast cancer, and the number of women who obtained a positive mammogram.
Mentions: Half of the patients received the information about the sensitivity and false-positive rate of the tests and prevalence of the diseases in numbers without a visual aid. The other half received numbers along with a grid representing the numerical information. Figure 1 presents the grid that patients received in the mammography task. The visual display represented the number of women who obtained a positive mammogram, the number of women who have breast cancer, and the overall number of women at risk. Women were depicted as squares as previous research has found no differences in effects of arrays with faces compared to more abstract symbols such as squares or circles (Stone et al., 2003; Gaissmaier et al., 2012).

Bottom Line: In the numerical condition, many patients-especially those with low numeracy-misinterpreted the predictive value of the tests and profoundly overestimated the accuracy of their inferences.Metacognitive judgment calibration mediated the relationship between numeracy and accuracy of diagnostic inferences.We conclude that well-designed risk communications can inform patients about healthrelevant numerical information while helping them assess the quality of their own risk comprehension.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Psychology, Facultad de PsicologĂ­a, University of Granada , Granada, Spain, ; Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Michigan Technological University , Houghton, MI, USA ; Max Planck Institute for Human Development , Berlin, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Visual aids can improve comprehension of risks associated with medical treatments, screenings, and lifestyles. Do visual aids also help decision makers accurately assess their risk comprehension? That is, do visual aids help them become well calibrated? To address these questions, we investigated the benefits of visual aids displaying numerical information and measured accuracy of self-assessment of diagnostic inferences (i.e., metacognitive judgment calibration) controlling for individual differences in numeracy. Participants included 108 patients who made diagnostic inferences about three medical tests on the basis of information about the sensitivity and false-positive rate of the tests and disease prevalence. Half of the patients received the information in numbers without a visual aid, while the other half received numbers along with a grid representing the numerical information. In the numerical condition, many patients-especially those with low numeracy-misinterpreted the predictive value of the tests and profoundly overestimated the accuracy of their inferences. Metacognitive judgment calibration mediated the relationship between numeracy and accuracy of diagnostic inferences. In contrast, in the visual aid condition, patients at all levels of numeracy showed high-levels of inferential accuracy and metacognitive judgment calibration. Results indicate that accurate metacognitive assessment may explain the beneficial effects of visual aids and numeracy-a result that accords with theory suggesting that metacognition is an essential part of risk literacy. We conclude that well-designed risk communications can inform patients about healthrelevant numerical information while helping them assess the quality of their own risk comprehension.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus