The Effects of Three-Dimensional Graphs on Decision Making
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF LOGISTICS AND ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT
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The objective of this thesis was to determine whether or not, and by how much, three-dimensional graphs are more accurate and efficient than two- dimensional graphs and tables when presenting alternatives to decision makers. A graphical experiment was designed using a microcomputer. This experiment presented a business scenario to test Air Force Institute of Technology AFIT Professional Continuing Education PCE students. The experiment attempted to determine how well DoD decision makers accurately and efficiently performed elementary data collection tasks using various graphs or tables. The experiment used a randomized order within-subject factorial design with repeated measures. The factorial experiment was designed to analyze the manipulation of three factors or independent variables, anchoring, mode of presentation, and data-set, to determine their effects on the response variables of degree of accuracy, and response time efficiency. The results of the accuracy analysis showed that in general, accuracy performance was high for most subjects regardless of the mode of presentation or the task anchoring. The timed response analysis showed that it took subjects longer to interpret three-dimensional line graphs and three- dimensional bar charts for two of the elementary data collection tasks.