Enlighten
Research publications by members of the University of Glasgow
home > services > Enlighten

Communicating quantities: A review of psycholinguistic evidence of how expressions determine perspectives

Moxey, L.M., and Sanford, A.J. (2000) Communicating quantities: A review of psycholinguistic evidence of how expressions determine perspectives. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 14 (3). pp. 237-255.

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Abstract

The way in which information about proportions, amounts, frequencies, probabilities, degrees of confidence, and risk is portrayed in natural language is not neutral, but reflects presuppositions and assumed norms. In this paper we present a review of evidence in support of this position. We show that the choice of expressions for communication depends in a systematic way on the kinds of inferences communicators draw. We go on to discuss the consequences of this for attribution phenomena, aspects of reasoning, the portrayal of uncertainty, and responses to questionnaires. We also suggest that communicator preferences for using language rather than numbers may have to do with human reasoning being argument-based, rather than with a preference for vagueness, as has been commonly claimed.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):Moxey, Dr Linda and Sanford, Prof Anthony
Authors: Moxey, L.M., and Sanford, A.J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Applied Cognitive Psychology

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record