10th International
Conference on
Teaching Statistics
8 – 13 July 2018
Kyoto, Japan
Contributed paper list

Contributed Paper C140


Revealing Conceptual Difficulties when Interpreting Histograms: An Eye-Tracking Study


Lonneke Boels (The Netherlands)
Rutmer Ebbes (The Netherlands)
Arthur Bakker (The Netherlands)
Wim van Dooren (The Netherlands)
Paul Drijvers (The Netherlands)


Lonneke Boels (The Netherlands)


The interpretation of histograms is subject to many misconceptions. The conjecture is that some of these misconceptions emerge from the application of interpretation strategies associated with case-value plots. To investigate this, eye-movement data were collected from six university students solving questions on histograms and case-value plots. Preliminary analysis of gaze data and cued retrospective verbal reports showed that participants seemed to use a histogram interpretation strategy, a case-value plot interpretation strategy or an elimination strategy. Several participants appeared to use a single preferred strategy without distinguishing between the type of graphs at stake. As conjectured, some participants applied a case-value plot strategy also to histograms. In addition, gaze data suggest that more experienced participants abandoned their initial strategy when necessary.