How can visualisation fool people?

We can not ignore how the sight affects our decision-making process and using it as a cross-check mechanism for all other senses. However, what if this powerful way of communicating the message, can be the most dangerous input providers for our decision-making process?

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

How do visuals make our lives easier and complicated at the same time?

Let’s start with an example: When someone says, “The height of my office building is 300 meters”, does your brain understand what is 300 meters, how much height does it make?

  • Visual representation of this information:
Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_freestanding_structures#/media/File:BurjKhalifaHeight.png)
Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_freestanding_structures#/media/File:BurjKhalifaHeight.png)
Some of the Tallest Structure in the world. (Source: Wikipedia)

In the map, the representation is: ‘‘The UK is as big as Madagascar, while Sweden is almost 2 times bigger than Madagascar.’’

In reality, the information from Wikipedia about the land area of these countries are:

  • Sweden is 450,295 km²
  • Madagascar 587,041 km²
Country Size Comparison based on Madagascar (Source)
A relation between the Mercator projection and the actual relative size of each country.

And some people know how to use these visual defects of our brains very well. I am not saying that they hide the information, but visuals can hide the information.

Macworld 2008

What do you think?

How do you consider it from your perspective?

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