Experimental investigation of effects of representations and contexts on comprehension and generation of line graphs


In this study, we investigated the representation effect in comprehending graphs. Many previous studies have confirmed the representation effect. In Experiment 1, we replicated the representation effect but using a set of graphs each of which is completely identical from the other in its perceptual characteristics. Participants drew a specific aspect of information from a line graph depending on the relation of x-axis and z-legend of the graph. In Experiment 2, participants were given a context for problem solving. The result showed that participants read a graph based on a given context; and the representation effect in comprehension was limited. In Experiment 3, participants generated a line graph by themselves. The result showed that they did not necessarily generate a consistent graph with a given context, and in comprehension the requirement of a context has very strong effects similarly as in Experiment 2.

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