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Conference Papers Year : 2023

How odd are odds? Students´ difficulties in converting relative frequencies into odds

Abstract

There are many ways in expressing relative frequencies with numerical values: 1) percentages 25%, 2) decimal fractions 0.25, 3) common fractions 1/4, 4) natural frequencies “1 out of 4”, 5) notations like “every fourth”, or 6) odds “1 to 3”. The latter one plays an important role in communicating changes of risk, e.g., in medical research results in scientific papers. Therefore, we investigate medical students’ and—as a comparison group—also law students’ abilities in converting different representations of relative frequencies into odds. 52 medical students and 51 law students answered three items, which addressed the conversion of a relative frequency into odds. The low solution rates indicate that odds ratios are probably poorly understood because the underlying concept—namely the odds themselves—are frequently misinterpreted. These findings support previous claims for not reporting odds ratios in scientific papers, because these can be misunderstood.
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Dates and versions

hal-04410767 , version 1 (22-01-2024)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04410767 , version 1

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Karin Binder, Nicole Steib, Theresa Büchter, Katharina Böcherer-Linder, Andreas Eichler, et al.. How odd are odds? Students´ difficulties in converting relative frequencies into odds. Thirteenth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education (CERME13), Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics; Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest, Jul 2023, Budapest, Hungary. ⟨hal-04410767⟩

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