Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Almost every professional presentation includes some form of graphics. Many previous researchers have analyzed the relative effectiveness of graphical decision aids, such as pie charts or bar graphs. Very little research, however, has been conducted to determine the effects of extraneous graphics, such as pictures and logos, on decision making. This study employed an experiment to determine whether extraneous graphics hinder or enhance a decision maker's ability to obtain the pertinent information from a professional presentation. Other factors such as gender and graphics training were also analyzed for any influence on the results obtained. The results of the study indicated a statistically significant effect on information extraction accuracy due to the use of extraneous graphics, but an effect was not discovered regarding decision accuracy, or decision confidence. Information extraction accuracy was found to be inversely related to the level of extraneous graphics employed in a presentation. Additionally, the effect oi extraction accuracy was found to be more predominant for females and for people without prior experience or training (either formal or informal) in graphics applications. The tests also showed that most people prefer a "medium" amount of extraneous graphics rather than a large amount or no extraneous graphics.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology