Interactive Instruction in Bayesian Inference

Azam Khan, Simon Breslav, Kasper Hornbaek

Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
2016

Abstract

An instructional approach is presented to improve human performance in solving Bayesian inference problems. Starting from the original text of the classic Mammography Problem, the textual expression is modified and visualizations are added according to Mayer’s principles of instruction. These principles concern coherence, personalization, signaling, segmenting, multimedia, spatial contiguity, and pre-training. Principles of self-explanation and interactivity are also applied. Four experiments on the Mammography Problem showed that these principles help participants answer the questions at significantly improved rates. Nonetheless, in novel interactivity conditions, performance was lowered suggesting that more interaction can add more difficulty for participants. Overall, a leap forward in accuracy was found, with more than twice the participant accuracy of previous work. This indicates that an instructional approach to improving human performance in Bayesian inference is a promising direction.

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