The effects of users' background diagram knowledge and task characteristics upon information display selection.

Grawemeyer, Beate and Cox, Richard (2008) The effects of users' background diagram knowledge and task characteristics upon information display selection. In: Diagrammatic Representation and Inference - Fifth International Conference on the Theory and Application of Diagrams, Herrsching, Germany.

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Abstract

This paper explores factors associated with effective external representation (ER) use. We describe an information-processing approach to the assessment of ER knowledge. We also present findings from a study that examined the effects of users background knowledge of ERs upon performance and their preferences for particular information display forms across a range of database query types that differed in their representational specificity. A representationally specific task is one which can only be performed effectively with one type of representation (or a narrow range of representations). On highly representationally specific tasks, optimal ER selection is crucial. Both ER selection performance and reasoning performance are, in turn, predicted by an individuals prior knowledge of ERs. On representationally nonspecific tasks, participants performed well with any of several different ER types regardless of their level of prior ER knowledge. It is argued that ER effectiveness crucially depends upon a three-way interaction between user characteristics (e.g. prior knowledge), the cognitive properties of an ER, and task characteristics.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Beate Grawemeyer
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:28
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2012 09:32
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16573
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