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Topic: Research on "Twice as big"
Replies: 19   Last Post: Feb 27, 2011 1:15 PM

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Robert Hansen

Posts: 11,345
From: Florida
Registered: 6/22/09
Re: Research on "Twice as big"
Posted: Jan 21, 2011 1:04 PM
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Using visualization in my work often, I have seen papers that discussed the psychology of our percerption of length versus area, as well as area in various forms (circles, squares, etc.) I used to use SAS extensively and this came up a lot in the 80's. You might want to google the concepts (I tried but thus far had little luck). But generally, I think the answer to your question...

"Do you agree with the idea the brain processes size by observed surface area?"

Is true or false depending on what you are asking. Essentially, the brain (eye) is more able to judge and compare lengths than it is areas, or god forbid, volumes. When producing charts and visualizations you have to keep this in mind. For example, in a bubble chart, a bubble with twice the volume next to a bubble with once the volume will not invoke the perception that the first quantity is twice as much as the second. Either use a bar chart, or inflate the bubble more, if the proportion between the two is important. Sometimes it isn't important and all you want to represent is the fact that one is larger than the other, in which case you can scale it as your other needs require.

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