How are graphs read? An indication of sequence

  • Russell W. JonesEmail author
  • John W. Warner
  • Cherie L. Cross
Statistics: Research And Teaching


Graphs are an extremely powerful communicative and analytical tool commonly used in both the behavioral sciences and computing (as well as many other fields). More than 2.2 trillion graphs are published annually, and these graphs are used to communicate a host of often very important information to readers. Yet despite the multitude of applications for which graphs are used, and despite the frequency of their use, little is known about how graphs communicate information or about the cognitive processes that readers use when they read and interpret the information presented within graphs. Insight into the answers to these questions can be obtained through the study of the techniques that people use to read graphs. This paper describes the research methodology and results of an empirical investigation into the viewing order in which readers choose to view the different components of graphs and into the length of time that readers spend studying each of these components.


Data Region Graph Component Graph Read Object Display Case Time Series 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell W. Jones
    • 1
    Email author
  • John W. Warner
    • 1
  • Cherie L. Cross
    • 1
  1. 1.DSMEUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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