Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form


Jang, Jooyoung (2009) LOST IN SPACE: THE SURPRISING ROLE OF INFORMATION SPATIAL LAYOUT. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (1MB) | Preview


LOST IN SPACE: THE SURPRISING ROLE OF INFORMATION SPATIAL LAYOUTJooyoung Jang, M.S.University of Pittsburgh, 2009Prior research has found that information presentation formats matter for how easily people understand certain information and solve problems using the presented information. The major finding from those studies is that information should be presented in a type of format that cognitively best fits to characteristics of given problems. Much of this prior has focused on conceptual elements of presentation format (e.g., words vs. diagrams, or graphs vs. tables) rather than more physical elements. However, with effort and strategy considerations in mind, more physical elements may also influence performance. Here, I focused on an understudied physical element that is pragmatically important and potentially theoretically exciting: the spatial layout of the information. Specifically, is there a difference between superimposed information (e.g., presented in a pile of pages) and distributed information (e.g., when the same pages of information is spread out sticking on a wall)? This question originated from an observation of meteorologists making weather forecasts. In an earlier study, meteorologists made a forecast in two conditions: mapwall and computer. Although the computer user could use animations and comparisons, there was no difference in accuracy but there was a large, nearly 50% time difference: Mapwall users made predictions far faster than computer users. The purpose of this master's project was to develop a lab task to replicate the effect and to reveal the underlying mechanism. The results showed a large speedup effect of the distributed format, but only on a task involving information integration. There, distributed task speed was almost twice as fast. An underlying mechanism for the effect, the strategy selection hypothesis, was also tested.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Jang, Jooyoungjoj15@pitt.eduJOJ15
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSchunn, Christian D.schunn@pitt.eduSCHUNN
Committee MemberHirtle, Stephen C.hirtle@pitt.eduHIRTLE
Committee MemberNokes, Timothy J.nokes@pitt.eduNOKES
Date: 5 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 31 October 2008
Approval Date: 5 June 2009
Submission Date: 4 March 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: problem solving; spatial layout of information; strategy selection
Other ID:, etd-03042009-110415
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:31
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:36


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item