ERIC Number: ED308819
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The Effect of Graphic Format and Cognitive Style on the Recall of Quantitative Data.
Head, J. Thomas; Moore, David M.
A study was conducted to determine the effect of graphic format--bar, line, table, and line-table graph--on the interpretation of numerical data by field dependent and field independent students. Ninety-six undergraduate students were given the Group Embedded Figures Test and randomly assigned to one of four treatments. During the testing phase, the subjects were given a fictitious narrative concerning income amounts of various European merchants during the Middle Ages and shown the quantitative data in one of the graphic formats on a 35mm slide; the order of the questions was randomly altered for each treatment. All subjects in all treatments responded to the same questions, each of which required a numerical or verbal answer as either a specific amount or a static or dynamic comparison of the data. A two-way analysis of variance was used to test the research hypothesis. Results indicated that scores were lower for the line graph treatment than for the table treatment for all three types of questions. Subjects viewing the bar graph did not differ from the line graph treatment for any types of questions, but had lower scores for the amount and static questions compared to the scores of the table treatment. It is suggested that the poor performances of the line treatment group and the bar group on the static questions give rise to the need for additional experimental work. This study partially confirms an earlier study which found that tabular reports are better than graphical formats, but does not produce much evidence that there is a strong relationship between field dependence/independence and the scores on the different types of questions. (8 references) (CGD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A