In combined studies, communications were made more convincing without any alteration to content, when presented alongside simple graphs.
A three-part study investigated whether people who read claims about medication accompanied with a graph would rate the medication as more effective than people who read the information without the accompanying graph.
Results showed that yes, people were influenced by the graph and rated the medication more effective. Additionally, “the higher participants’ self-reported belief in science, the higher the increase of persuasion due to the presence of graphs.”
The paper concludes that “science-signaling” visual elements can be persuasive and should be used with caution when communicating scientific claims.
Source: Blinded with science: Trivial graphs and formulas increase ad persuasiveness and belief in product efficacy, Aner Tal, Brian Wansink. 2014