Laypeople do use sample variance: The effect of embedding data in a variance-implying story

Thinking and Reasoning 16 (1):26-44 (2011)
When using sample data to decide whether two populations differ, laypeople attend to the difference between group means, but largely overlook within-group variability (Obrecht, Chapman, & Gelman, 2007). We show, first, that laypeople know about and use story-implied variability when making pairwise comparisons. Then we demonstrate that participants' sensitivity to variance in a dataset is boosted when presented in a context that implies consistent variance information. Statistical data were couched in stories about electrical conductivity measurements obtained from element samples (low-variability category) or body weight measurements from samples of peoples (high-variability category). We manipulated, between participants, whether the data variance matched or mismatched the story-implied variability. Participants who received data in a matching context showed high sensitivity to variance, while those in the mismatching condition did not. Laypeople use statistical data to make reasonable inferences when those data are provided in a context that makes sense
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/13546780903416775
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,392
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

22 ( #213,803 of 1,924,708 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

12 ( #67,397 of 1,924,708 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.