Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

N. Clayton Silver

Number of Pages



Current standards on warning design recommend including icons on various product labels to increase saliency and reinforce meaning. In order to examine if icons are understandable and salient, Experiment 1 consisted of a sample of 489 undergraduate students rating 43 pharmaceutical pictorials with regards to understandability, carefulness, likelihood of injury, severity of injury, and saliency. The icons "Shake well," "Poison," .. "should be taken with plenty of water," "for headaches," "do not drink alcoholic beverages," and "for the ear" met the ISO 67% comprehension criteria. In a subsequent study, a sample of 51 undergraduates rated 24 pharmaceutical labels varying in colors, icon, and verbal content across understandability, carefullness, likelihood of injury, readability, severity of injury, and saliency. An icon with a slash through it was rated higher across all dependent variables. Red was rated highest along the injury variables, whereas yellow was rated highest in readability and understandability. Furthermore, text that was shortened and in larger print, yet connoted the same meaning was rated higher across all dependent measures. Implications for warning design are discussed.


Color; Drug; Font; Function; Hazardousness; Icon; Labels; Perceived; Prescription; Readability; Size; Understandability; Warning

Controlled Subject

Cognitive psychology; Psychology, Industrial; Pharmacy--Research

File Format


File Size

2908.16 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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