Risk communication

Is guilt ‘likely’ or ‘not certain’?: Contrast with previous probabilities determines choice of verbal terms

This research focuses on what determines speakers' choice of positive and negative probability phrases (e.g., “a chance” vs. “not certain”) in a legal context. We argue that choice of phrase to describe an event's probability of occurrence can be …

Interpreting claims in offender profiles: the role of probability phrases, base‐rates and perceived dangerousness

Offender profilers use verbal and numerical probability expressions to convey uncertainty surrounding claims made about offender's characteristics. No previous research has examined how these expressions might affect the recipient's interpretation of …

Tactful or doubtful?: Expectations of politeness explain the severity bias in the interpretation of probability phrases

When a statement about the occurrence of a medical condition is qualified by an expression of probability, such as the word possible, listeners interpret the probability of the condition as being higher the more severe the condition. This severity …

How to do things with logical expressions: Creating collective value through co-ordinated reasoning

We argue that logical expressions in human language enable speakers to perform particular acts as well as stating propositions which may be true or false. We present a conversational action planning model of co-ordinated reasoning, which we use to …