A quick tongue-in-cheek checklist for assessing usefulness of media stories on risk
Do you shout at the morning radio when a story about a medical “risk” is distorted, exaggerated, mangled out of all recognition? You are not alone. Kevin McConway and David Spiegelhalter, writing in Significance, a quarterly magazine published by the Royal Statistical Society, have come up with a checklist for scoring media stories about medical risks. Their mnemonic checklist comprises 12 items and is called the ‘John Humphrys’ scale, said Mr Humphrys being a well-known UK radio and television presenter.
They assign one point for every ‘yes’ and do a test on a story about magnetic fields and asthma, and another about TV and length of life. The article, called Score and Ignore: A radio listener’s guide to ignoring health stories, is here.
Could form the basis of a useful classroom resource.