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Understanding the Role of Visualizations on Decision Making: A Study on Working Memory

Department of ICT Industrial Engineering, Dong-Eui University, Busan 47340, Korea
Received: 14 October 2020 / Revised: 23 November 2020 / Accepted: 24 November 2020 / Published: 26 November 2020
The use of data visualization is increasing; however, there is little empirical explanation for how it supports users. Our goal in this paper is to deepen our understanding of the role of interactive visualizations in a particular context of decision making. Specifically, we attempt to understand the role of the working memory system, which is a concept to understand the mechanism of the processing and temporary storage of information in variety of cognitive tasks. We compared two interfaces, SimulSort and its non-visual counterpart Typical Sorting, with a multi-attribute decision-making problem. Because decision outcomes are known to be affected by the limitations of a person’s working memory, we conducted a crowdsourcing-based user study using SimulSort to understand how working memory, especially the phonological loop, can benefit from the using visualizations. We examined the impact on working memory with a well known dual-task methodology by designing a concurrent task to tap into the main decision-making task. The experiment was conducted with a total of 137 participants and an ordered logistic regression using a proportional odds model was applied to analyze the decision quality. The results supported the hypothesis that when using SimulSort, participants required less working memory than they required with Typical Sorting to accomplish the multi-attribute decision-making task even though SimulSort outperformed Typical Sorting in terms of decision quality. We also provide methodologies to conduct working memory studies by implementing an articulatory suppression task on crowdsourcing platforms in which experimenters have less control over the participants. View Full-Text
Keywords: information visualization; decision making; working memory; crowdsourcing-based user study information visualization; decision making; working memory; crowdsourcing-based user study
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, S.-H. Understanding the Role of Visualizations on Decision Making: A Study on Working Memory. Informatics 2020, 7, 53. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/informatics7040053

AMA Style

Kim S-H. Understanding the Role of Visualizations on Decision Making: A Study on Working Memory. Informatics. 2020; 7(4):53. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/informatics7040053

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kim, Sung-Hee. 2020. "Understanding the Role of Visualizations on Decision Making: A Study on Working Memory" Informatics 7, no. 4: 53. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/informatics7040053

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