Review of Graph Comprehension Research: Implications for Instruction
 Priti Shah,
 James Hoeffner
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Graphs are commonly used in textbooks and educational software, and can help students understand science and social science data. However, students sometimes have difficulty comprehending information depicted in graphs. What makes a graph better or worse at communicating relevant quantitative information? How can students learn to interpret graphs more effectively? This article reviews the cognitive literature on how viewers comprehend graphs and the factors that influence viewers' interpretations. Three major factors are considered: the visual characteristics of a graph (e.g., format, animation, color, use of legend, size, etc.), a viewer's knowledge about graphs, and a viewer's knowledge and expectations about the content of the data in a graph. This article provides a set of guidelines for the presentation of graphs to students and considers the implications of graph comprehension research for the teaching of graphical literacy skills. Finally, this article discusses unresolved questions and directions for future research relevant to data presentation and the teaching of graphical literacy skills.
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 Title
 Review of Graph Comprehension Research: Implications for Instruction
 Journal

Educational Psychology Review
Volume 14, Issue 1 , pp 4769
 Cover Date
 20020301
 DOI
 10.1023/A:1013180410169
 Print ISSN
 1040726X
 Online ISSN
 1573336X
 Publisher
 Kluwer Academic PublishersPlenum Publishers
 Additional Links
 Topics
 Keywords

 graphs
 graphical displays
 graph comprehension
 science education
 graphical literacy
 Authors

 Priti Shah ^{(1)}
 James Hoeffner ^{(1)}
 Author Affiliations

 1. Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan