The Effect of Fill Patterns on Graphical Interpretation and Decision Making
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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This study investigated if decision makers could be mislead by computer generated vertical bar graphs that contained varying intensities of fill patterns. It also investigated if the misleading influence of vertical bar graphs caused any differences in interpretation or decision making. A literature review revealed a need to test bar graphs with varying intensities of fill patterns in a controlled environment. By creating vertical bar graphs that use fill patterns, stronger impressions may be produced on the decision maker which may lead to misinterpretations of the underlying data. An experiment was conducted on 182 mid to upper level Department of Defense managers. The experimental group were asked to act as loan evaluators and decide if three fictitious companys should be approved for a loan based on a graphical or tabular presentation of each companys financial data. After reviewing each companys presentation, the experimental group were then asked to determine a loan amount given specific decision rules. Results showed that differences in interpretation and decision making were created by the trend of the financial data even after data were normalized for the effects of trend. It could not be concluded that fill patterns caused any difference in interpretation or decision making. Graphs, Misleading, High-integrity, Decision making, Criteria, Cost analysis.
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- Computer Programming and Software
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