The Role of Numeracy and Self-Efficacy in College Students’ Understanding of Climate Tools

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Investigator(s): Barry Keim, Renee Edwards, Andrea Miller, Alex Haberlie, Tryfon Boukouvidis, Marisa Karpinski, Josh Eachus
Research Dates: 2018 - 2020
Affiliate Organization(s): Louisiana State University • WBRZ -TV

Numeracy is related to literacy except that it focuses on mathematical abilities. Self-efficacy is a belief that one is capable of doing something – in this case, understanding the weather and being able to interpret charts and graphs. SCIPP researchers Renee Edwards and Barry Keim examined the role of numeracy and self-efficacy in college students’ understanding of climate tools such as the hurricane cone of uncertainty and the drought monitor. Results show that numeracy and self-efficacy for charts and graphs enhance the ability to understand climate tools. For the cone of uncertainty, personal experience with hurricanes also enhanced comprehension. In addition, students believe that everyone and not just experts such as meteorologists should be able to interpret climate tools.

This project received funding from Louisiana Sea Grant.

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