Education and Persuasion in Extension Forestry: Effects of Different Numerical Information Formats
We applied to forestry information a finding from cognitive psychology: Simple frequencies (1 in 100) and percentages (1%) are perceived as clearer than absolute frequencies (e.g., 28 million Americans), even as the latter are perceived to be larger quantities. We replicated these findings for numerical information about forestry issues, although the perception of greater value for absolute frequencies worked for low proportions of references class but not for large proportions (e.g., 3 out of 4, or 75%). These results illustrate a tension between the dual goals of education and persuasion in the communication of forestry information.
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Brase, G. L., & Stelzer, H. (2007). Education and Persuasion in Extension Forestry: Effects of Different Numerical Information Formats. The Journal of Extension, 45(4), Article 3. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol45/iss4/3