Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer and Information Science - (M.S.)


Computer and Information Science

First Advisor

Richard A. Coll


A total of 126 subjects at various levels of school and a health related manufacturing firm participated in three experiments that compared Tables, Line graphs and Bar graphs forms of data presentation. The experiments were performed each consisting of a training task followed by answering some questions based on the presented material. The experimental series were presented to six groups. Group 1, 3, 5 viewed Line graphs, Tables or Bar graphs respectively while answering the questions while the other three groups answered questions based on memory of either Line graphs, Table or Bar graph presentation.

The independent variables were:

  1. Memory Condition (View Condition and Recall Condition).
  2. Task Type (Relational Information retrieval and Specific Information retrieval).
  3. Display Presentation Type (Columnar Table and Vertical Bar Graph and Line Graph).
  4. Complexity (Three levels).

Dependant Variables were:

  1. Time to task completion and
  2. Error Scores.

The statistically significant findings are:

  1. There is no interaction between Task Type and Display Presentation type.
  2. There is an interaction between Memory Condition and Display Presentation Type. Use of Tables produce better results with respect to time under memory condition VIEW both for relational and specific information retrieval. Use of Bar graphs on the other hand produce better results than Line graphs and Tables under memory condition RECALL with respect to error scores and time.
  3. There was no statistical difference with respect to errors under memory condition VIEW (subjects answered questions while viewing data). However table use showed a consistent non-significant advantage versus Line and Bar graphs across all three experiments. Bar graph use showed significantly fewer errors under memory condition RECALL across all three experiments.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.