An experimental investigation of consistency of explanation and graph representation


Many previous studies of graph comprehension have confirmed that information gleaned from a graph is greatly influenced by its representation. When explaining data with a graph, writers/researchers must generate graphs whose representation is consistent with the explanation contents. In the current study, we defined those who engage in academic activities using graphs on a daily basis as expert graph users and investigated whether they and undergraduates (non-experts) can adaptively generate a consistent graph with explanations from the viewpoint of the consistency of the contents and graph representation. Experiment 1 indicated that expert graph users adaptively generate a graph whose structure is consistent with the explanation contents. On the other hand, Experiment 2 suggests that undergraduates cannot do so. But in Experiment 3 undergraduates were supported by selecting graphs from provided candidates, but there was a limited concordance between the type of explanation and graph representation.

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