Thursday, April 24, 2008

Presenting numbers

According to an article in Journal of Extension numbers are understood differently based on how they are presented. Apparently percentages or simple frequencies (1 out of 10) are more intuitively understood than a large absolute frequency (or number like 5 million each year) even though the information is the same. For indicating a small thing an absolute frequency will appear greater in magnitude. Hence an absolute frequency may appear more persuasive.

Personally i prefer using graphs which can convey both kind of information at the same time, as long as the graphs does not get too crowded or too simplistic.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

See also http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/320/5880/1217

Asasia said...

Keep up the good work.