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Suggestions for Preparing Effective Posters
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For Participants in the Poster Sessions at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, Massachusetts, USA November 17-20, 2016. 

General Information
A poster presentation should be self-explanatory, allowing different viewers to proceed on their own while the author is free to supplement and discuss particular points raised in inquiry. The poster session offers a more intimate forum for information exchange than does the traditional spoken presentation, but discussion becomes difficult if the author is obliged to spend most of the time explaining the poster to a succession of visitors.

Poster Dimensions

Each poster must fit on one side of the 8 foot wide x 4 foot high (2.44 x 1.22 m) poster board (includes 1 inch frame). Unlike previous years, you will not be sharing a poster board with other presenters.

Abstract Numbering

You will note that the abstract number assigned to your poster is a 4-digit number. The first digit codes which session you were assigned to (1–5; 1 = Thursday evening; 2 = Friday noon; 3 = Friday evening; 4 = Saturday noon; 5 = Saturday evening). The last 3 digits range between 001 and 200. These digits code your poster location (i.e., 001 is poster #1 within the session; 002 is poster #2, etc.). So, for example, 4016, is in the Saturday noon session, board #16.  The boards will be grouped serially in the room to help participants locate specific presentations.

Before the Meeting

Prepare a banner for the top of your poster indicating the title, authors, and affiliations. Lettering in the label should be at least 1 in. (2.54 cm) high.


Figures should be designed to be viewed from a distance, and should use clear, visible graphics. Although each figure should illustrate no more than one or two major points, figures need not be simple. The main points should be clear without extended viewing, but detail can be included for the knowledgeable viewer. Each figure or table should have a heading of one or two lines in large type stating the “take-home” message. Detailed information should be provided in a legend below in smaller type. Because there is no text accompanying a poster, the figure legend should contain commentary that would normally appear in the text (Results and Discussion) of a manuscript. It should describe concisely not only the content of the figure but also the conclusions derived from it. Details of methodology should be kept brief and should be placed at the end of the legend.


The Governing Board of the Psychonomic Society encourages all presenters to follow the Psychonomic Society Statistical Guidelines. Click here to read the Statistical Guidelines. Effect sizes should be reported and error bars with appropriate labels should be included on all graphs.


When you prepare your poster, arrange materials in columns rather than in rows. It is easier for viewers to scan a poster by moving systematically along it rather than by zigzagging back and forth in front of it. An introduction should be placed at the upper left and a conclusion at the lower right, both in large type. The sequence of illustrations should be indicated with numbers or letters at least 1 in. high, preferably in bold print.

You may find it convenient to have a separate section describing methods, but it is quite effective to include this information as part of the data presentation, as described above. Carefully chosen photographs of apparatus, or schematic diagrams of procedures, can convey a great deal of information about methods without much text. Most viewers will tend to skim or ignore long textual passages.

At the Meeting

Mounting and Presenting the Poster
The poster sessions will be held in the Hilton Chicago. The three evening sessions will be held in conjunction with the general reception (hospitality). Please see below for the details of the viewing time and author presenting times (times subject to change).

Session  Viewing Time  Author Present 
Thursday Evening 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.  6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
Friday Noon 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Friday Evening 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
Saturday Noon 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.  12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Saturday Evening 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.  6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 



The extended viewing time will allow all interested persons to see posters of their choice, and hopefully reduce the crowded conditions we have sometimes had at the poster sessions. Please do NOT leave your poster behind at the end of your session. All posters must be removed as soon as the poster session is concluded.

It is suggested, but not required, that the presenting author bring a one-page handout conveying the essence of the poster and a means for interested parties to contact the presenter outside the confines of the meeting. It is often difficult to visit every poster of interest, and providing a handout of the sort described is one way of maximizing the audience for the poster, and facilitating information exchange about it.

Materials are fixed to the tack board by pushpins. Plan to bring sufficient pushpins for your presentation. Please do not write or paint on the tack boards. You may find it useful to have on hand a tablet of sketch paper and suitable drawing materials. Note that projection equipment and electrical outlets are not available in the poster session area.

Let me know if you have any questions about the arrangements for the poster sessions.

I am looking forward to seeing you in Chicago.

Ruth Maki
Psychonomic Society

2424 American Lane • Madison, WI 53704-3102 USA
Phone: +1 608-441-1070 • Fax: +1 608-443-2474 • Email:

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