10th International
Conference on
Teaching Statistics
8 – 13 July 2018
Kyoto, Japan
This paper is from Session 8E: Theory and Frameworks
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 8: New approaches to research in statistics education

Paper 8E2 (Tuesday 10th, 16:00-17:30)

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


  • Lonneke Boels (Utrecht University and Christelijk Lyceum Delft, The Netherlands)



Many people misinterpret histograms. The conjecture is that some of these misinterpretations 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. 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, analysis of gaze data and verbal reports suggest that more experienced participants abandoned their initial strategy when necessary.

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