Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Using Icon Array as a Visual Aid for Communicating Validity Information

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Scott Highhouse (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Richard Anderson (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Margaret Brooks (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Priscilla Coleman (Committee Member)


To promote better decisions in the workplace, organizational researchers must communicate the value of their scientific findings. Traditional statistics such as the correlation coefficient are difficult to interpret. Graphical visual aids, such as Icon arrays, have recently emerged as effective tools for simplifying probabilistic and statistical information. This dissertation examined the benefits the Icon array in communicating the validity of structured interviews. People judged the Icon array as more useful than the Binomial Effect Size Display (BESD) for communicating validity information. People were more engaged with the interactive visual aid than its static counterpart, and judged the interactive visual aid more useful. Finally, people performed better on an objective graph comprehension test when presented with an Icon array than the bar graph. The benefit of graphical displays (Icon array and bar graph), however, was moderated by individual differences in graph literacy. Bar graph and the BESD were more useful for people with high (vs. low) graph literacy. The Icon array was equally useful for people with high and low graph literacy.