Promoting Representational Fluency for Cognitive Bias Mitigation in Information Visualization

  • Paul ParsonsEmail author


Information visualization involves the use of visual representations of data to amplify cognition. While visualizations do generally amplify cognition, they also have representational biases that encourage thinking and reasoning in certain ways at the expense of others. I propose that the development of representational fluency by visualization designers and users can help mitigate such biases, and that promoting representational fluency in visualization education and practice can be a useful general strategy for mitigating cognitive biases. Literature from various disciplines is discussed, including perspectives on meta-visualization, representational competence, and meta-representational competence. Some implications for visualization research, education, and practice are examined. The need for engaging users in deep, effortful cognitive processing is discussed and is situated within literature on established bias-mitigating strategies. A preliminary research agenda comprising five challenges is also proposed.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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