“Dispersion & Disparity” Research Project Results

Link: https://3iap.com/dispersion-disparity-equity-centered-data-visualization-research-project-Wi-58RCVQNSz6ypjoIoqOQ/


The same dataset, visualized two different ways. The left fixates on between-group differences, which can encourage stereotyping. The right shows both between and within group differences, which may discourage viewers’ tendencies to stereotype the groups being visualized.


Ignoring or deemphasizing uncertainty in dataviz can create false impressions of group homogeneity (low outcome variance). If stereotypes stem from false impressions of group homogeneity, then the way visualizations represent uncertainty (or choose to ignore it) could exacerbate these false impressions of homogeneity and mislead viewers toward stereotyping.

If this is the case, then social-outcome-disparity visualizations that hide within-group variability (e.g. a bar chart without error bars) would elicit more harmful stereotyping than visualizations that emphasize within-group variance (e.g. a jitter plot).

Author(s): Stephanie Evergreen

Publication Date: 2 Aug 2022

Publication Site: 3iap