Rensink R, 2012, "The perception of correlation in datasets" Perception 41 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 5
The perception of correlation in datasets
Humans are remarkably good at getting the gist of a scene from a quick glance. Can this ability be used in the visualization of complex datasets? It will be shown that the perception of correlation in scatterplots is rapid, being largely complete within 150 ms of presentation. This process can be characterized by two simple laws: a linear Fechner-like law for precision and a logarithmic Weber-like law for accuracy. Results show a surprising degree of invariance for scatterplot symbol: different sizes, colours, and shapes have little effect on precision or accuracy. Other forms of visualization exhibit similar patterns. These results suggest that correlation perception is a sophisticated process, likely playing an important role in rapid scene perception. At a more general level, they also suggest that information visualization can be a useful domain in which to study visual cognition.
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