Q: Does there exist experimental evidence supporting Tufte-style, minimalist, data-speak visualizations over the chart-junked visualizations of, say, Nigel Holmes?
I asked how to add chart-junk to R plots here and responders threw a hefty amount of snark back at me. So, surely, there must be some experimental evidence, to which I'm not privy, supporting their anti-chart junk position---more evidence than just "Tufte said so." Right?
If such evidence exists it would contradict a lot of psychological research we have regarding humans, their memory recall, and pattern identification. So I'd certainly be excited to read about it.
A little anecdote: at a conference I asked Edward Tufte how he regards experimental evidence finding that junk animations and videos improve humans' understanding and memory recall [see research cited in Brain Rules]. His response: "Don't believe them." So much for the scientific method!
P.S. Of course, I'm needling people a little here. I own all of Tufte's books and think his work is incredible. I just think that his supporters have oversold some of his arguments.
NOTE: This is a re-post of a question I asked on StackOverflow. Moderators closed it because it wasn't programming-specific. CrossValidated might be a better home.
UPDATE: There are some useful links in the comments section of my original question post---namely, to the work of Chambers, Cleveland, and the datavis group at Stanford.
UPDATE: This question deals with similar subject matter.