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Bias due to visual illusion in the graphical presentation of information: Working paper series--02-30

Amer, T.S. (2002) Bias due to visual illusion in the graphical presentation of information: Working paper series--02-30. Working Paper. NAU W.A. Franke College of Business.


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Graphical displays of information are among the most common decision aids available. Recent research has focused upon the effect that inappropriately prepared graphs may have on decision-making. This paper adds to the body of literature on graphical information presentation by demonstrating that a graph can result in biased information extraction due to visual illusion. The experimental results indicate that decision makers can fall prey to the so-called "Poggendorff illusion" and either systematically underestimate or systematically overestimate the values displayed on a cost-volume-profit graph. In addition, the results of this research suggest that the bias can be moderated by the inclusion of horizontal gridlines on graphs. The addition of horizontal gridlines also reduces the variance in some values decision makers extract from graphs. Accordingly, a graph preparation guideline should be followed to avoid the bias and high variance in information extraction - Horizontal gridlines should be included on all line graphs.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Publisher’s Statement: Copyright, where appropriate, is held by the author.
ID number or DOI: 02-30
Keywords: Working paper, Graphs, cost-volume-profit, bias in decision-making
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: The W.A. Franke College of Business
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2015 00:32
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/1607

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