chapter  2
42 Pages

Graphical Methods of Displaying Data

According to Chambers, Cleveland, Kleiner, and Tukey (1983), "there is no statistical tool that is as powerful as a well chosen graph," and although this may be a trifle exaggerated, there is considerable evidence that there are patterns in data, and relationships between variables, that are easier to identify and understand from graphical displays than from possible alternatives such as tables. For this reason researchers who collect data are constantly encouraged by their statistical colleagues to make both a preliminary graphical examination of their data and to use a variety of plots and diagrams to aid in the interpretation of the results from more formal analyses. The prime objective of this approach is to communicate both to ourselves and to others.