Rerepresent the result of a psychology testing by Data Visualization

Multimedia Tasking




In August 2016, I got an opportunity to serve as an assistant at the Institute of Psychology of Chinese Academy of Sciences and participated with another two group members in a scientific research focused on investigating the "Relationship between Multimedia Tasking and Ego-Depletion" under the guidance of a supervisor.


In order to conduct the further experiments, we needed at first to divide all subjects into two groups, heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) and light media multitaskers (LMMs), based on their MMI index derived from the questionnaire. We decided to adopt the same questionnaire as it was first published in Cognitive Control in Media Multitaskers on PNAS and translated it into Chinese.


The questionnaire addressed 12 different media forms: print media, television, computer-based video, music, nonmusic audio, video or computer games, telephone and mobile phone voice calls, instant messaging, SMS (text messaging), email, web surfing, and other computer-based applications (such as word processing). For each medium, respondents reported the  total number of hours per week  they spend using the medium. In addition, they filled out a media-multitasking matrix, indicating whether, while using this primary medium, they concurrently used each of the other media ‘‘Often’’ ‘‘Sometimes’’ ‘‘Rare’’ or ‘‘Never’’.

The questionnaire was administered online and it took approximately 20 min to complete. Finally, we gathered 160 subjects samples.

Raw Data

(PDF Format)

Raw Data

(EXCEL Format)


Just like the raw data above, it was such a complicated task to figure out any possible causality between different factors. However with the help of SPSS, a software package used for statistical analysis, we reach the preliminary conclusion avoid processing a mass of data.


This experience not only allowed me to get in touch with some cutting-edge techniques but also arouse my reflections on resolving abundance and complexity. The book I've read before  Information is Beautiful  as well as an idea came to my mind. How can I represent the results in a more explicit and artistic way?


I read David McCandless's book again and tried different ways of Data Visualization before finding the best one. 

My Experiment

Types of Data Visualization


Finally, I chose Bubble Comparison and Spiral to visualize my data.


The final representation provided by SPSS and by Visualization have their respective strengths and weaknesses.

1. While SPSS get the raw data imported and results exported within a few clicks, it takes a longer time to do several experiments in order to find the most expressive type of visualization. Also, the size and color of graphs and lines need to considered.

2. Although it is more time-consuming, Visualization is worthwhile not only for its outcomes but also for a more holistic understanding and attention driven to some interesting details during the process.