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The statistical information, in general, can be visually presented in the three basic forms: statistical information in text (text for short), statistical graph, and statistical graph with text (i.e. the combination of graph and text). The impact of the different forms on people's understanding of the statistical information is still unclear. To address this issue, this study using eye-tracking investigated the reading efficiency (reading time), reading effect (accuracy) and mental workload (pupil diameter) during 36 subjects reading the statistical information presented in any of the three forms. The results showed that: (1) the reading time: the statistical graph was significantly shorter than the text and statistical graph with text, which suggests that the reading efficiency of statistical graph is higher than other forms; (2) the accuracy: there were no significant differences among the three forms, which suggests that there are no significant difference on the reading effect; (3) the pupil diameter: both statistical graph and statistical graph with text were significantly smaller than the text, which reveals that the statistical graph and statistical graph with text in mental workload are significantly lower than the text. The findings also provide the evidences for the reason why people prefer the statistical information presented in the form of the statistical graph with text.
Date of Conference: 22-25 May 2011