The discrimination of graphical elements

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Authors
  1. Hollands, J.G.
  2. Spence, I.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
Abstract
A model is proposed to account for how people discriminate quantities in pie charts and divided bar graphs (i.e. which proportion is larger, A or B?). The incremental estimation model assumes that an observer sequentially samples from the available perceptual features in a graph. The relative effectiveness of sampled perceptual features is represented by the spread of probability distributions, in the manner of signal detection theory. The model's predictions were tested in two experiments. Participants took longer with pies than divided bars and longer with non-aligned than aligned proportions in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, participants took longer with divided bars than pies when graphs were of unequal size. Generally, graphical formats producing longer response times incurred a greater time penalty when the difference between proportions was reduced. These results were in accordance with the model's predictions. Implications for graphical display design are discussed.
Keywords
Visual search
Report Number
DCIEM-SL-1999-072 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
24 Jan 2002
Number of Pages
22
Reprinted from
Applied Congnitive Psychology, vol 15, 2001, p 413-431
DSTKIM No
CA020158
CANDIS No
516831
Format(s):
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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