Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

David S. Christensen, PhD

Second Advisor

David K. Vaughan, PhD


This thesis investigated the influence, if any, of background graphics on the decision making process. Specifically the hypotheses tested the affect of background graphics on a decision makers accuracy and confidence. A literature review revealed an abundance of graphic research but little reference to the use of background graphics. Using guidelines previously created for high integrity graphics, a timed 2 x 2 factorial experimental design was developed to compare the responses to both traditional graphics and those treated with background graphics. One hundred forty-seven subjects, all employees of the United States Air Force or defense contractors were involved in the experiments. The Kruskal-Wallis test was employed to test the hypotheses. The analysis of the test results indicate that background graphics neither affect decision accuracy nor the confidence a decision-maker places in a decision. It was also determined that gender and training have no affect on accuracy and confidence.

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