Road Salting

1379 Words 6 Pages
While the factors listed above may well be important components of the decisions that people make, they aren’t pieces of information that are readily available to atmospheric scientists to need to convey some risk. However, demographic information such as age, income, education is known about regions. These factors could also help explain the decisions that people are making, or they could be a useful proxy for another factor such as numeracy.
Age. Older individuals don’t understand risk information as well, both overestimate and underestimate probabilities (Fuller, Dudley, & Blacktop, 2001), worse risk comprehension than younger individuals (Fausset & Rogers, 2012). Much of the literature supports the idea that decision making effectiveness
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Participants first read task instructions, which included a description of the task and the cost-loss structure. Participants were instructed to take the role of a manager of a road maintenance company, contracted to treat the roads for a two-month period in winter to prevent icing. Salt treatment had to be applied before freezing temperatures were observed. On each of 60 trials, participants decided whether, based on forecasts for the nighttime low temperature, treating the roads with salt was necessary that day. Participants received a monthly budget of $36,000 for each of the two hypothetical months. Each trial consisted of the choice to apply salt to roads costing $1,000 per day or not. If salt was not applied and a freezing temperature was observed, a penalty of $6,000 was deducted from the budget. This was explained to compensate the city for any accidents or damage as a result of dangerous road …show more content…
The Berlin Numeracy Test (Cokely et al., 2012) assesses knowledge of probability and statistical computation. The test includes questions on probability that increase difficulty over the series of questions. In the present sample, participants answered a 7 item version of the test that has been calibrated for a general/M-Turk population (Cokely et al., 2012; see Appendix A). Participants answered each questions by typing a proportion or percentage into a response box. Each correct answer was awarded one point. A final score was calculated out of seven points. Once both tasks were completed, participants received a completion code that they entered into the M-Turk website indicating they had completed the HIT successfully. Completion codes were verified by experimenters and then payments were

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