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Graph Design for the Eye and Mind [Paperback]

Stephen M. Kosslyn

List Price: CDN$ 75.95
Price: CDN$ 62.28 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

April 9 2007 0195311841 978-0195311846 1
Graphs have become a fixture of everyday life, used in scientific and business publications, in magazines and newspapers, on television, on billboards, and even on cereal boxes. Nonetheless, surprisingly few graphs communicate effectively, and most graphs fail because they do not take into account the goals, needs, and abilities of the viewers. In raph Design for Eye and Mind, Stephen Kosslyn addresses these problems by presenting eight psychological principles for constructing effective graphs. Each principle is solidly rooted both in the scientific literature on how we perceive and comprehend graphs and in general facts about how our eyes and brains process visual information. Kosslyn then uses these eight psychological principles as the basis for hundreds of specific recommendations that serve as a concrete, step-by-step guide to deciding whether a graph is an appropriate display to use, choosing the correct type of graph for a specific type of data and message, and then constructing graphs that will be understood at a glance. Kosslyn also includes a complete review of the scientific literature on graph perception and comprehension, and appendices that provide a quick tutorial on basic statistics and a checklist for evaluating computer-graphics programs. Graph Design for Eye and Mind is an invaluable reference for anyone who uses visual displays to convey information in the sciences, humanities, and businesses such as finance, marketing, and advertising.

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Review

"Graphic displays get better and better and become more and more important in the modern information age. Graph Design for Eye and Mind is the best place to learn the art and science of graphic design and comprehension. Stephen Kosslyns fine book is engaging, wise, and exceptionally useful. Read it and youll become an expert on graphic communication, and youll learn a lot about how the mind and brain perform one of our species most remarkable skills."--Reid Hastie, Professor of Behavioral Science, University of Chicago

"Finally, a book that connects the art of graph design to the science of visual perception. Stephen Kosslyn, an authority on mental imagery and perception, manages to boil complex research findings down into clear and concrete advice on how to design graphs that illuminate rather than obfuscate." --Keith Holyoak, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, UCLA

"For nearly three decades, Stephen Kosslyn has developed an approach to effective and attractive graph design that rests extensively on scientific evidence. Not only does his treatment provide detailed guidelines for constructing graphs, it explains why these guidelines work, and why numerous pitfalls arise when they're not followed. Students learning to graph data for science, journalism, business, and other graph-intensive activities will benefit significantly from this book. It also offers a reference manual for skilled professionals who need to construct unfamiliar types of graphs on occasion."--Lawrence W. Barsalou, Professor of Psychology, Emory University

"Graphic displays get better and better and become more and more important in the modern information age. iGraph Design for Eye and Mind/i is the best place to learn the art and science of graphic design and comprehension. Stephen Kosslyns fine book is engaging, wise, and exceptionally useful. Read it and youll become an expert on graphic communication, and youll learn a lot about how the mind and brain perform one of our species most remarkable skills."--Reid Hastie, Professor of Behavioral Science, University of Chicago

From the Publisher

7 color illus. & 180 b/w halftones, maps & line illus.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Run away before it is too late Sept. 1 2006
By David H. Peterzell PhD PhD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I admit that I'm a graph junkie, and that I've already spent years obsessing over the details my own graphs and those of others. I'm almost incapable of processing data unless I can create a meaningful picture of it. I'll actually scan journals and books looking for satisfying graphs. I actually will take money from people to make graphs for them. I already have too many books on graph making, including everything by Tufte. I've sat through Gore's new global warming movie a few times just to check out the cool graphics. I mean, who ever heard of a movie that was 90% graphs???

This is a sick, sick book. This insidious thing is my drug of choice. But now I've overdosed on all the figures portrayed from beginning to end. There must be three hundred of these mother's little helpers, including an enormous stash of "do's" and "don'ts" sprinkled everywhere. The whole thing is infused with visual and cognitive science, which is like heroin in my dark and distorted world. All of this has been crystallized into 8 principles - the drug in its pure form. I've already thrown away millions of dollars on Kosslyn's books on cognitive neuroscience and now he's pushing this one. What can I say? I've relapsed and I can't stop. I'm powerless over my addiction. In my weakened state, I plan to push this book on my grad students and clients. Kosslyn has engineered the most powerful and dangerous book on graph making ever to see the light of day, injecting it with science and acidic creativity. They should lock this Kosslyn guy up and throw away the key(board) before he causes any more trouble.

Sept 12, 2006 update:

Well, I'm getting good hate mail for the review above (originally posted Sept 1). So let me clarify: I loved this book.

This is my favorite book on graph making. First off, I think anybody who designs graphs will find it easy to use and helpful. It guides designers through the steps of choosing a graph format and optimizing the graph's features. It provides hundreds of illustrations, including examples of "do's" and "don'ts." One of the most amazing things about this book is that it is authored by Stephen Kosslyn, an eminent cognitive neuroscientist and the world's leading expert on imagery. The essentials of perceptual and cognitive science are here, and they are put to work in simple yet effective ways. So Kosslyn's groundbreaking book provides remarkably practical and simple guidelines, but it also contains considerable scientific depth.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A re-issue of a classic March 17 2008
By Noah Iliinsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a phenomenal book on designing graphs so they can be understood. It is clearly written, well reasoned, and full of very practical advice and good examples. There is nothing else like it. If you need to create effective, accurate graphs, and read just one book, this is the one.

It should be noted that it is effectively a re-writing and update of his earlier book Elements of Graph Design.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide March 3 2009
By George Z. Marootian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
through the use of design and perspective on the presentation of data to a user...

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