Favourite Graphs

Funny story written by IainB

Friday, 19 November 2010

image for Favourite Graphs
Blue: Fat people who prefer pie charts

A study in personal preferences over the way that people prefer to have data displayed has shown a remarkable personal bias among those questioned.

Ninety-six percent of overweight people said that they preferred a pie chart as an information display method, whilst alcoholics said that they prefer a bar chart. Interior designers came in with overwhelming support for the scatter graph.

"There is a remarkable correlation," said Dmitri Clockwork. "I'm a biologist by training, so naturally, to correlate the statistics I used a stem and leaf plot."

Occupations do have an impact on the choice of graph that people choose as well. Plumbers and hydrologic engineers both choose flow charts, whilst funeral directors prefer a box plot. Pet shop owners that sell a lot of parrots show a remarkable preference for a frequency polygon. Scaffold workers went for Gantt Charts, whilst glamour models chose a PERT chart. People who paint the markings on the road generally didn't have enough education to know what a graph was, but once it was explained to them, they almost all wanted to use a standard line graph for displaying information.

Even geographical location could play a part in graph preference, with Arctic and Antarctic researchers favouring polar plots, whilst rainforest researchers invariably chose waterfall charts.

"We even noticed sub-categories," said Clockwork. "Overweight alcoholics preferred their bar charts displayed as cones, whilst alcoholic artists were partial to a pictographic bar chart."

The funny story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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