Looking at Graphs as Visual Objects

Graphical depictions of numerical data allow us to investigate visuospatial perception and cognition, and at the same time to answer questions about information design. Research by Professor Zacks and his colleagues has examined the role of depth cues in magnitude estimation, and the emergences of conventional mappings in viewers' and designers' use of graphs.

Levy, E., Zacks, J., Tversky, B., & Schiano, D. (1996). Gratuitous graphics?  Putting preferences in perspective. In M. J. Tauber (Ed.), Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 42-49). Vancouver: ACM. levychi96-1.pdf

Zacks, J., Levy, E., Tversky, B., & Schiano, D. J. (1998). Reading bar graphs: Effects of extraneous depth cues and graphical context. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 4, 119-138. (Abstract, email for full)

Zacks, J., & Tversky, B. (1999). Bars and lines: A study of graphic communication. Memory and Cognition, 27, 1073-1079.

Zacks, J., Levy, E., Tversky, B., & Schiano, D. (2002). Graphs in print. In M. Anderson, B. Meyer, & P. Olivier (Eds.), Diagrammatic representation and reasoning. London: Springer-Verlag.

For a more complete list, download Jeff Zacks's curriculum vitae.