Title

Effects of Computer Interfaces on Computer-based Statistical Analysis

Document Type

Article

Department

Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (CGU)

Publication Date

1998

Disciplines

Cognitive Psychology | Psychology | Science and Technology Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Thirty-one first-year psychology graduate students in a computer applications course completed a set of structured problems, unstructured problems, and data-screening problems in each of two statistical computing environments: a menu-based interface (SPSS for Windows) and a traditional command-based interface (SPSSx). Performance on the menu-based interface was generally superior to performance on the command-based interface. More of the structured problems were completed successfully within the menu-based interface. The menu-based interface also facilitated error identification, was rated as easier to use, and was preferred nearly 4 to 1 over the command-based interface. For the unstructured problems, students identified more relationships in the data set and issued more statistical commands when working with the menu-based interface. These findings are consistent with the interpretation that because the menu-based interface requires fewer mental resources to be dedicated to the mechanics of analysis, more resources are available to devote to higher level problem solving.

Comments

The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com

Rights Information

© 1998 Psychonomic Society Publications

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