Visualizing data without perpetuating inequality

Event organiser:
Australian Evaluation Society
Start date:
End date:

How do we visualize inequality without promoting it? How can we communicate social outcomes in ways that inspire positive change?

When data represents groups of people, it's inescapably interpreted through the audience's prior knowledge, assumptions, biases and stereotypes about the groups being visualized. This makes visualizing social data unique from other topics. It also means that common visualization techniques that are safe in other domains can be harmful when visualizing data about people from minoritized communities.

[Event presenter] Eli Holder's recent peer-reviewed study shows how certain popular data visualizations, meant to raise awareness of social disparities, may actually backfire and reinforce them, by encouraging harmful stereotypes about the people being visualized. This session builds on Eli's research to help practitioners apply his findings and produce more equitable social-data visualizations. After the session, attendees should be able to:

  1. Identify and articulate the hidden biases pervasive in charts and graphs covering social outcome disparities.
  2. Develop intuition for the surprising ways that social psychology can influence audiences’ perceptions of information.
  3. Learn alternative design approaches to effectively present equity-focused dataviz in ways that create awareness and inspire change, while mitigating harmful stereotypes about the people being visualized.

Seminar start times

Time zone: AEST

  • VIC, NSW, ACT, TAS, QLD: 12.00pm
  • SA, NT: 11.30am
  • Perth: 10.00am
  • New Zealand: 2.00pm

For other time zones please go to https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

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