<p>Posters at conferences are vital to conveying scientific information
between researchers. However, many critique the traditional format, which
divides the poster into relatively equal sections (e.g., Introduction,
Methods), for being text-heavy. The “better poster” was developed in
response to this concern. The poster’s center is devoted to the main
conclusion with other elements (e.g., statistical tests) on its sides.
Though this format does reduce the quantity of text, the focus on the
primary conclusion may reduce the viewer’s tendency to analyze its
credibility, which is an important feature of research conferences.
Advanced psychology undergraduates studied six posters presenting research
from various areas of psychology using either the traditional or “better
poster” format. Each poster had a major error that would affect the
credibility of the conclusion (e.g., causal claim from a correlation).
After viewing each, participants listed the main takeaways of the research,
what it did well, and observed errors. This study has important
implications for scientific communication, particularly the role of poster
format in the comprehension and evaluation of scientific research.</p>