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EXPLORING GRAPHICAL DISPLAY EFFECTS IN THE CONTEXT OF PROCESSING AND DECISION-MAKING STYLES

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abstract
Graphical displays have been shown to be effective tools in risk communication, especially for low-probability risks. Graphs depicting only the number of people affected by a risk (“foreground-only” graphs) can increase risk aversion, as compared to graphs that also depict the number of people at risk of harm (“foreground-background” graphs). However, there is little research looking into the cognitive mechanisms behind this “foreground-only effect”. The current work seeks to inform our knowledge of the ways in which these graphs influence behavior by determining both how they are processed and how people make decisions based on the information they are presented with. Cognitive load manipulations were used to interfere with people’s processing and decision making in order to determine whether the different displays are processed consciously versus automatically, as well as the degree to which they promote rational versus intuitive decisions. Individual differences in thinking style were also measured. An interaction between display type (foreground-only vs. foreground-background) and processing-stage cognitive load on risk aversion indicated support for a model which explains the foreground-only effect by stating that the two types of displays produce automatic processing of two distinct graphical elements. Subsequently, an element of conscious processing mitigates the influence of this effect for foreground-only graphs.
subject
Decision-making
Graphs
Risk
Risk communication
contributor
Parillo, Jonathan (author)
Stone, Eric R (committee chair)
Fleeson, William (committee member)
Petrocelli, John V (committee member)
Okan, Yasmina (committee member)
date
2017-06-15T08:36:13Z (accessioned)
2018-06-14T08:30:12Z (available)
2017 (issued)
degree
Psychology (discipline)
embargo
2018-06-14 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/82248 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
EXPLORING GRAPHICAL DISPLAY EFFECTS IN THE CONTEXT OF PROCESSING AND DECISION-MAKING STYLES
type
Thesis

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