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An Experimental Evaluation of Graphical and Color-Enhanced Information Presentation


Author Info

  • Izak Benbasat

    (Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Y8)

  • Albert S. Dexter

    (Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Y8)

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    A laboratory experiment was conducted to assess the influence of graphical and color-enhanced information presentation on decision quality, decision-making time and user perceptions of information systems attributes. The experimental design examined the main and interaction effects of report format, color, and individual differences (field dependence/independence) among the subjects. The findings indicate that the claims made about the benefits of color-enhanced reports are subject to qualification. Even though color influenced decision-making quality in general, and to some extent color was more beneficial for graphical than tabular reports, its most significant impact was on the performance of field-dependents. The decision-making quality of field-dependents with color-enhanced reports was 73% better than field-dependents who did not have such reports. There were no performance differences between subjects who used tabular and graphical reports. This outcome is explained by taking into consideration the underlying nature of the task given to the subjects and how the reports were organized to support this task. This finding suggests that proponents of graphical presentation must qualify their claims to environments where there is a clearly defined rationale for the potential benefits of graphical report usage.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 31 (1985)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 1348-1364

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:31:y:1985:i:11:p:1348-1364

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    Keywords: information systems; man-machine systems; color; graphical presentation;


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    Cited by:
    1. Nathalie Dagorn & Guillaume Biot- Paquerot & Andréa Zanusso, 2013. "Le reporting traduit-il toujours la réalité des faits ? Le cas du reporting sociétal," Post-Print hal-01002929, HAL.
    2. Marimo, Pricilla & Kaplan, Todd R & Mylne, Ken & Sharpe, Martin, 2012. "Communication of uncertainty in weather forecasts," MPRA Paper 38287, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Renaud, Alexandre, 2012. "Traduire pour aligner : une analyse par les pratiques de la conduite de projets de reconfigurations de systemes d’information," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/12847 edited by Kalika, Michel, September.


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