Interpretive Impacts of Text Visualization: Mitigating Political Framing Effects

Eric P. S. Baumer, Jaime Snyder, and Gery Gay. (2018). Interpretive Impacts of Text Visualization: Mitigating Political Framing Effects. ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (ToCHI), 25(4), 20:1–20:26.


Information visualizations are often evaluated as a tool in terms of their ability to support performance of a specific task. This article argues that value can be gained by instead evaluating visualizations from a communicative perspective. Specifically, it explores how text visualization can influence the impacts that framing has on the perception of political issues. Using data from a controlled laboratory study, the results presented here demonstrate that exposure to a text visualization can mitigate framing effects. Furthermore, it also shows a transfer effect, where participants who saw the visualization remained uninfluenced by framing in subsequent texts, even when the visualization was absent. These results carry implications for the methods used to evaluate information visualization systems, for understanding the cognitive and interpretive mechanisms by which framing effects occur, and for exploring the design space of interactive text visualization.


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