Graph Design for the Eye and Mind

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Oxford University Press, Jul 17, 2006 - Psychology - 304 pages
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Graphs have become a fixture of everyday life, used in scientific and business publications, in magazines and newspapers, on television, on billboards, and even on cereal boxes. Nonetheless, surprisingly few graphs communicate effectively, and most graphs fail because they do not take into account the goals, needs, and abilities of the viewers. In raph Design for Eye and Mind, Stephen Kosslyn addresses these problems by presenting eight psychological principles for constructing effective graphs. Each principle is solidly rooted both in the scientific literature on how we perceive and comprehend graphs and in general facts about how our eyes and brains process visual information. Kosslyn then uses these eight psychological principles as the basis for hundreds of specific recommendations that serve as a concrete, step-by-step guide to deciding whether a graph is an appropriate display to use, choosing the correct type of graph for a specific type of data and message, and then constructing graphs that will be understood at a glance. Kosslyn also includes a complete review of the scientific literature on graph perception and comprehension, and appendices that provide a quick tutorial on basic statistics and a checklist for evaluating computer-graphics programs. Graph Design for Eye and Mind is an invaluable reference for anyone who uses visual displays to convey information in the sciences, humanities, and businesses such as finance, marketing, and advertising.

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Chapter 1 Looking With the Eye and Mind
Chapter 2 Choosing a Graph Format
Chapter 3 Creating the Framework Labels and Title
Chapter 4 Creating Pie Graphs DividedBar Graphs and Visual Tables
Chapter 5 Creating BarGraph Variants
Chapter 6 Creating LineGraph Variants and Scatterplots
Chapter 7 Creating Color Filling and Optional Components
Chapter 8 How People Lie With Graphs
Chapter 9 Beyond the Graph
Appendix 1 Elementary Statistics for Graphs
Appendix 2 Analyzing Graphics Programs
Appendix 3 Summary of Psychological Principles
Sources of Data and Figures

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About the author (2006)

Stephen M. Kosslyn is the former Chair of the Department of Psychology, currently Dean of Social Science and John Lindsley Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.

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