Yes, that is a chart comparing the effectiveness of different kinds of charts. Apparently, it is Super Meta Science Day here at BoingBoing.
Pie charts get no respect, but Robert Kosara, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at UNC Charlotte, thinks the chart's bad reputation for being misleading isn't in line with the actual evidence. In particular, he cites a 1991 study that showed no significant differences between how well pie charts conveyed information, compared to other kinds of charts—unless the questions people were trying to use charted information to answer were particularly complex. In that case, pie charts were actually better than bar charts and tables.
In their discussion, they mention that adjacent segments in a pie chart are especially easy to combine, whereas the same is not true for a bar chart. And that, I think, is an important point: if we step away from the focus on accuracy in reading numbers, some of the more complex tasks are actually easier to do with the pie chart. The bar chart is great for reading and comparing individual numbers, but when it comes to adding up bars, it's a lot less effective.
Eager Eyes: In Defense of Pie Charts
Via Will Knight
I have offered plenty of advice on caring for your cast iron cookware. Stop seasoning it in the house, use your BBQ. Seasoning this stuff in the oven (my favorite old way,) or on the stove smokes your house up. Just throw the shit on the grill. Super thinly put a coat of oil on […]
One of the major contributors to greenhouse gases is the methane that cows belch up as they break down cellulose, but five years ago, research from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) found that adding small amounts of a pink seaweed called Asparagopsis to cows' diets eliminated the gut microbes responsible for methane […]
On Slate Star Codex (previously), Scott Alexander breaks down Invisible Designers: Brain Evolution Through the Lens of Parasite Manipulation, Marco Del Giudice's Quarterly Review of Biology paper that examines the measures that parasites take to influence their hosts' behaviors, and the countermeasures that hosts evolve to combat them.
If there’s one thing that stayed consistent through the last decade or so of tech industry turmoil, it’s the love affair between techies and Linux. There’s just a ton you can do with the OS, and its open-source format means you can customize your rig from the ground up. Apparently not content with that level […]
Accidents happen. And when they do, you’re going to want a dash cam for a second pair of eyes. At the minimum, a decent dash cam can save you vast sums of time and money in case of an accident. But a really good dash cam can do a whole lot more. Here are six […]
The field of data analytics is growing as fast as the internet itself. Self-driving cars, airline pricing, and huge marketing campaigns are all driven by the insights that data scientists can distill out of vast sums of information. Even with the help of powerful software like Python, it’s a highly skilled position. But those skills […]