Bars and lines: A study of graphic communication
- 856 Downloads
Interpretations of graphs seem to be rooted in principles of cognitive naturalness and information processing rather than arbitrary correspondences. These predict that people should more readily associate bars with discrete comparisons between data points because bars are discrete entities and facilitate point estimates. They should more readily associate lines with trends because lines connect discrete entities and directly represent slope. The predictions were supported in three experiments—two examining comprehension and one production. The correspondence does not seem to depend on explicit knowledge of rules. Instead, it may reflect the influence of the communicative situation as well as the perceptual properties of graphs.
KeywordsLine Graph Conceptual Domain Graph Type Graphic Communication Gestalt Principle
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- American Psychological Association (1994).Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Bertin, J. (1983).Semiology of graphics (William J. Berg, Trans.). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
- Kosslyn, S. (1993).Elements of graph design. New York: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
- Levy, E., Zacks, J., Tversky, B., &Schiano, D. (1996). Gratuitous graphics? Putting preferences in perspective. In M. J. Tauber (Ed.),Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 42–49). Vancouver, BC: ACM.Google Scholar
- Pinker, S. (1990). A theory of graph comprehension. In R. Freedle (Ed.),Artificial intelligence and the future of testing (pp. 73–126). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Zacks, J., Levy, E., Tversky, B., & Schiano, D. (1996). Ease of processing with spatial representations: Interaction of rendering technique and conceptual task. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar