Title: Experts' misinterpretation of box plots - a dual processing approach
Authors: Lem, Stephanie ×
Onghena, Patrick
Verschaffel, Lieven
Van Dooren, Wim #
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Société Belge de Psychologie
Series Title: Psychologica Belgica vol:54 issue:4 pages:395-405
Abstract: Recent studies have shown that students often misinterpret the area of the box in box plots as representing the frequency or proportion of observations in that interval, while it actually represents density. This misinterpreta-tion has been shown to be based on the saliency of this area and can be explained by heuristic reasoning as defined by dual process theories. In this study we tested whether expert users of box plots also display this misinter-pretation and show signs of the same heuristic reasoning as found in students. Using a reaction time test, we found signs of heuristic reasoning in experts, both with respect to accuracy and reaction times. If even experts have difficulty interpreting box plots, one can question whether these are an appropriate form of representation to use when reporting data and deserve the prominent place they current-ly have in the statistics curriculum.
ISSN: 0033-2879
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Instructional Psychology and Technology
Methodology of Educational Sciences
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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