The Correlation between Users' Cognitive Characteristics and Visualization Literacy

Comparison of Visualization Literacy Assessment Scores between Participants in Low and High Levels of Cognitive Characteristics: i) Need for Cognition; 2) Numeracy.


One of the ultimate goals of studies on visualization literacy is to improve users' visualization literacy through education and training. Even though users' cognitive characteristics may significantly affect learning and responding processes in general, studies have addressed the relationships between users' cognitive characteristics and visualization literacy. As a first step toward discovering the relationships, we conducted an empirical study to investigate the correlation between cognitive characteristics and visualization literacy. Our first study focuses on testing the correlation between visualization and three cognitive characteristics: numeracy, need for cognition, and visualizer-verbalizer style. In this study, we measured 178 participants' visualization literacy and the level of the three cognitive characteristics using the Visualization Literacy Assessment Test (VLAT), the Decision Research Numeracy Test (DRNT), the Need for Cognition Scale (NCS), and the Verbalizer-Visualizer Questionnaire (VVQ) through a crowdsourcing experiment. Our test results confirmed that a correlation exists between visualization literacy and both numeracy and need for cognition. Based on our test results, we discuss the implications for education to enhance visualization literacy and future studies to investigate on related user characteristics.

Applied Sciences