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Karen Cheng, Kevin Larson: Truthiness and information graphics


Ralf Herrmann

Readers are more likely to believe the content of text when the layout and text quality is easy to understand. For example, the statement “Osorno is a city in Chile” is more likely to be rated true if it’s written in black text on a white background than if it’s written in lower contrast gray text on a gray background. Other studies have shown that readers rate authors as more intelligent when the text is easy to understand. Our project extends this work by studying the effect of well-designed information graphics on table of contents pages. We found that readers who saw the well-designed information graphics, rated the content as more interesting, more clearly written, and more scientifically rigorous. Good design literally changes how we process information.

  • very interesting! 2
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