Understanding the risks and benefits of all options is critical for effective decision-making. Those who are comfortable with uncertainty and who understand the magnitude of risks tend to excel with decision-making in health, finance, and other high-stakes fields. By taking the time to consider a problem and engage in self-reflection, more sound decisions can be taken - but a foundation that includes statistical literacy is also required.
Many of my peers in the overdiagnosis community are professionally skeptical. These patients, clinicians, and researchers tend to ask questions like: "is that really what the data show?" "how do we know this?" "through what lens was this interpreted, are there any biases?" It is because of this type of reflection that they can distance themselves from the evidence and view it critically. It is not surprising, given our interests, that members of our community score highly on the Berlin Numeracy Test.
Curious about your performance? Test your risk literacy now.
Read the original BBC Article: How well do you think about risk and uncertainty? for more.
While historically health care providers and administrators have been preoccupied with people underestimating risk, there are profound implications of low statistical numeracy and risk literacy for overtesting/treatment and diagnosis.
Should we enhance risk evaluation and statistical skills education in high schools? What differences would we see in our society if the majority of people had an increased capacity to question their own reasoning and judgements?