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Colter Mitchell: Biological consequences of poverty

Mick P. Couper photo

The role of numeracy in informed consent for surveys

Publication Abstract

Couper, Mick P., and Eleanor Singer. 2009. "The role of numeracy in informed consent for surveys." Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 4(4): 17-26.

If empirical estimates of disclosure risk are included in informed consent statements for surveys or other forms of research, participants must be able to understand the information provided. Using data from an online vignette-based experiment, this article explores the role that numeracy or quantitative literacy may play in comprehension of disclosure risk. Results suggest that less numerate persons are less sensitive to extreme differences in the disclosure risk described in the hypothetical vignettes.

DOI:10.1525/jer.2009.4.4.17 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC2857726. (Pub Med Central)


Country of focus: United States of America.

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