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Numerical Meanings of Probabilistic Expressions

Author: Frederick Mosteller; Cleo Youtz; Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.
Publisher: Ann Arbor, Mich. : Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1994.
Series: ICPSR (Series), 6046.
Edition/Format:   Computer file : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
These data were collected to obtain a clearer understanding of the quantitative meanings that people perceive in common words used to describe probabilistic outcomes. For example, in everyday language, people apply the expressions ''always'' and ''certain'' to events that occur in fewer than 100 percent of their opportunities. In this study, science writers were surveyed and asked to quantify, in a percentage term,  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Frederick Mosteller; Cleo Youtz; Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.
OCLC Number: 61156272
Notes: Title from ICPSR DDI metadata of 2004-10-30.
Details: Mode of access: Intranet.
Contents: Part 1: Data (''Always''), Form A; Part 2: Data (''Always''), Form B; Part 3: Data (''Almost Always''), Form A; Part 4: Data (''Almost Always''), Form B; Part 5: Data (''Certain''), Form A; Part 6: Data (''Certain''), Form B; Part 7: Data (''Almost Certain''), Form A; Part 8: Data (''Almost Certain''), Form B; Part 9: Data (''Very Frequent''), Form A; Part 10: Data (''Very Frequent''), Form B; Part 11: Data (''Frequent''), Form A; Part 12: Data (''Frequent''), Form B; Part 13: Data (''Not Infrequent''), Form A; Part 14: Data (''Not Infrequent''), Form B; Part 15: Data (''Infrequent''), Form A; Part 16: Data (''Infrequent''), Form B; Part 17: Data (''Very Infrequent''), Form A; Part 18: Data (''Very Infrequent''), Form B; Part 19: Data (''Very High Probability''), Form A; Part 20: Data (''Very High Probability''), Form B; Part 21: Data (''High Probability''), Form A; Part 22: Data (''High Probability''), Form B; Part 23: Data (''Moderate Probability''), Form A; Part 24: Data (''Mode...
Series Title: ICPSR (Series), 6046.
Responsibility: Frederick Mosteller, Cleo Youtz

Abstract:

These data were collected to obtain a clearer understanding of the quantitative meanings that people perceive in common words used to describe probabilistic outcomes. For example, in everyday language, people apply the expressions ''always'' and ''certain'' to events that occur in fewer than 100 percent of their opportunities. In this study, science writers were surveyed and asked to quantify, in a percentage term, their understanding of each of 52 expressions. They were also asked to indicate how they thought their readers would quantify each term, giving both an upper and lower limit they thought their readers would set for each expression. One group of expressions included the word ''probability'', and ranged from ''very high probability'' to ''very low probability''. Another used various forms of the word ''probable'', such as ''very probable'' and ''improbable''. Other expressions were centered around the word ''chance'': ''better than even chance'' to ''less than even chance''. The survey also included words like ''always'', ''often'', ''frequently'', ''never'', and ''sometimes''. Also tested were expressions with regularly used modifiers such as ''very'', or negation (not, un-, im-, in-), so that the effect of such modifiers could be evaluated. The sample of respondents was split to permit assessment of the effects of order of presentation: half received a form that ranked the expressions within 15 groups from high probability to low, while the other half received a form ordering the expressions from low probability to high.... Cf.: http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06046

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