Graphical Perception and Graphical Methods for Analyzing Scientific Data

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Science  30 Aug 1985:
Vol. 229, Issue 4716, pp. 828-833
DOI: 10.1126/science.229.4716.828


Graphical perception is the visual decoding of the quantitative and qualitative information encoded on graphs. Recent investigations have uncovered basic principles of human graphical perception that have important implications for the display of data. The computer graphics revolution has stimulated the invention of many graphical methods for analyzing and presenting scientific data, such as box plots, two-tiered error bars, scatterplot smoothing, dot charts, and graphing on a log base 2 scale.

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