Exponential Numeracy

31 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2020

See all articles by T. Bradford Bitterly

T. Bradford Bitterly

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Eric VanEpps

University of Utah - Department of Marketing

Maurice E. Schweitzer

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

Date Written: December 10, 2020

Abstract

Important natural phenomena, such as wildfires and pandemics, are characterized by exponential growth. By failing to understand exponential relationships, policy makers and individual decision makers undervalue the importance of early and aggressive interventions. We introduce a scale to measure exponential numeracy and demonstrate that exponential numeracy is distinct from other forms of numeracy (e.g., basic arithmetic numeracy, subjective numeracy, financial literacy). We find that individuals with greater exponential numeracy are better able to recognize, understand, and predict exponential trends across domains, including the spread of COVID-19.

Keywords: Numeracy; Exponential Numeracy Scale; Forecasting; COVID-19

Suggested Citation

Bitterly, T. Bradford and VanEpps, Eric and Schweitzer, Maurice E., Exponential Numeracy (December 10, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3746327 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3746327

T. Bradford Bitterly (Contact Author)

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology ( email )

Hong Kong

Eric VanEpps

University of Utah - Department of Marketing ( email )

1645 E. Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9304
United States

Maurice E. Schweitzer

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-4776 (Phone)
215-898-3664 (Fax)

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