Jurassic Mark: Inattentional Blindness for a Datasaurus Reveals that Visualizations are Explored, not Seen

Tal Boger*, Steven B. Most, Steven L. Franconeri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Graphs effectively communicate data because they capitalize on the visual system's ability to rapidly extract patterns. Yet, this pattern extraction does not occur in a single glance. Instead, research on visual attention suggests that the visual system iteratively applies a sequence of filtering operations on an image, extracting patterns from subsets of visual information over time, while selectively inhibiting other information at each of these moments. To demonstrate that this powerful series of filtering operations also occurs during the perception of visualized data, we designed a task where participants made judgments from one class of marks on a scatterplot, presumably incentivizing them to relatively ignore other classes of marks. Participants consistently missed a conspicuous dinosaur in the ignored collection of marks (93% for a 1s presentation, and 61% for 2.5s), but not in a control condition where the incentive to ignore that collection was removed (25% for a 1s presentation, and 11% for 2.5s), revealing that data visualizations are not 'seen' in a single glance, and instead require an active process of exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE Visualization Conference - Short Papers, VIS 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages71-75
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781665433358
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE Visualization Conference, VIS 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Oct 24 2021Oct 29 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2021 IEEE Visualization Conference - Short Papers, VIS 2021

Conference

Conference2021 IEEE Visualization Conference, VIS 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period10/24/2110/29/21

Keywords

  • attention
  • communcation/presentation
  • perception & cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Media Technology
  • Modeling and Simulation

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