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How Will Route Guidance Information Affect Cognitive Maps?

  • P. G. Jackson (a1)

Abstract

This paper considers the effect of receiving a secondary source of information upon ability to acquire and use spatial knowledge (i.e. the formation of a cognitive map). Participants watch videos of three journeys through an unfamiliar area. They then perform tasks measuring ability to integrate the routes into a cognitive map of the area. Subjects viewing the routes whilst hearing route guidance information performed consistently worse than those receiving no guidance. The presence of non-salient information, however, did not impair performance.

Existing studies highlighting differences between gender and age groups regarding spatial ability receive only partial support: the results suggest that ability to drive negates these effects. Female drivers perform as well as, if not better than, their male counterparts, and outperform male non-drivers. This same ‘driving’ effect was also evident in the over-55s group, with both male and female drivers performing significantly better than non-drivers in this age group. The results also show that driving ability enhances ability to cope with and use guidance information, suggesting that systems’ designers should make varying levels of spatial information available for less experienced drivers.

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How Will Route Guidance Information Affect Cognitive Maps?

  • P. G. Jackson (a1)

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