Abstract for:Iconic signs and stock flow performance

Stock and Flow (SF) systems are difficult to understand. One modification of the flows' representation led to better SF performance: using pictograms instead of line graphs. However, a meaningfully better performance only occurred when the stock was calculated for each moment. When basic knowledge was tested by asking the participants to name the moment of maximal and minimal stock, performance was better with pictograms instead of line graphs. Nevertheless, this effect was smaller. The present study analyzed if changing pictograms into “iconic signs” led to better performance when participants were to judge the stock’s maximum and minimum and if so how strong the effect was. Participants worked on three SF tasks. EDA and regression showed that using the iconic format led to better SF performance than the line graph when comparing performance of the tasks at first position. Gender and mathematical skills were controlled and also showed correlations with SF performance. Effects of comparing line graphs and iconic signs were quite high, but performance did not exceed 50%. To reach the aim of a high percentage of correct solvers, further research is needed. Using an iconic format for representing the flows seems to be a first step in this direction.