HOW TO LIE WITH CHARTS

Charts are commonly misused and distorted by persuaders to mislead. Here are seven common tricks used by unscrupulous persuaders to confuse, mislead, and distort.

Trick 1. Distort the 3-D pie

The popular pie chart is the most misused of all chart forms. A 3-D pie can be used to distort the size of the bottom slice: The thick edge makes it look much larger than it really is (or would look in a two-dimensional pie).

To take advantage of this, you place the segment you want to highlight at the bottom of a 3-D pie. To increase the impact even further, you can thicken the base of the pie and tilt it back. The effect is remarkable (see Figure 10.12).

Figure 10.12. The thick edge shifts the visual focus to the poor phone support ...

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