Graphicacy across age, education, and culture: a new tool to assess intuitive graphics skills

biorxiv(2022)

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摘要
Data plots are widely used in science, journalism and politics, since they efficiently allow to depict a large amount of information. Graphicacy, the ability to understand graphs, thus became a fundamental cultural skill. Here, we introduce a new measure of graphicacy that assesses the ability to detect a trend in noisy scatterplots (does this graph go up or down?). In 3943 educated participants, responses vary as a sigmoid function of the t-value that a statistician would compute to detect a significant trend. We find a minimum level of core graphicacy even in unschooled participants living in remote Namibian villages (N=87) and 6-year-old 1st-graders who never read a graph (N=27). However, the sigmoid slope (the graphicacy index) varies across participants, increases with education, and tightly correlates with statistical knowledge, showing that experience contributes to refining graphical intuitions. Our tool is publicly available online and allows to quickly evaluate intuitive graphics skills. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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关键词
intuitive graphics skills,education,culture
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