What is the difference in cognitive effects on the user between simply showing that there are 'some' unattended notifications, or showing how many notifications there are?
Take Facebook's notification count for example,
as opposed to Windows' PC issues notification in the system tray.
Of course depending on what the notification is notifying you of, people will respond differently, which is not something I'm interested in. However, I suspect there could be a difference based on where it is being displayed, e.g. whether it is always visible or not. Would one be preferred over the other in different situations?
I'm mainly interested in a comparative study between the two, but any research which might give additional insights in the two separate representations would help me out as well.