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date: 25 February 2024

Measuring Graph Literacylocked

Measuring Graph Literacylocked

  • Rocio Garcia-Retamero, Rocio Garcia-RetameroDepartment of Psychology, University of Granada
  • Dafina Petrova, Dafina PetrovaDepartment of Psychology, University of Granada
  • Adam FeltzAdam FeltzDepartment of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Michigan Technological University
  •  and Edward T. CokelyEdward T. CokelyDepartment of Psychology, University of Oklahoma


Graphical displays generally facilitate the communication of complex information and are ubiquitous in media. Unfortunately, people differ in their ability to extract data and meaning from graphical representations of quantitative information (i.e., graph literacy). This means that for some people, even well-designed, simple graphs will cause confusion and misunderstanding. Research on the psychology of graph comprehension focuses on two instruments that efficiently assess fundamental graph literacy among diverse adults. The Objective Graph literacy scale is a well-established instrument with good psychometric properties that measures skill via cognitive performance testing (e.g., interpreting and evaluating various graphs). The recently developed Subjective Graph Literacy scale is a brief self-report of graph literacy that can outperform the objective test in notable ways, while reducing text anxiety. Emerging applications in clinical research and practice, including computerized decision aids, can personalize content as a function of one’s graph literacy.


  • Communication Theory
  • Health and Risk Communication
  • Mass Communication

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