GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 76-7
Presentation Time: 9:55 AM


COURTNEY, Stephanie L., Department of Geosciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36832 and MCNEAL, Karen S., Department of Geosciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849

Graphs are often used to communicate scientific information to non-scientist audiences, especially in the realm of climate change. There is a body of research that can be used to design more accessible, effective graphs, but this research is not always put into practice. In this study, we sought to evaluate the effect of graph design on viewer perceptions and learning about climate change. Participants viewed either original IPCC Summary for Policymaker figures or graphs of the same data redesigned to fit research-based guidelines from Harold et al., 2016. The graphs were compared for usability, which is characterized by effectiveness and efficiency of task completion by viewers and viewer satisfaction. Participants' perception of risk associated with climate change and credibility of climate scientists were also assessed before, during, and after the graph viewing activity.