Performance Models for Spatial and Locational Cognition: A Report Prepared for the Office of Naval Research

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Summarizes a three-year investigation of the knowledge and processes people use to learn and make spatial judgments in large-scale environments. Experiments in map learning indicated that both the use of effective study procedures and visual memory ability determine success at learning a map. All but low-ability people benefit from training in effective study procedures. Studies of people's procedures for accuracy at estimating distances on maps indicated that map clutter increases subjective distance between two points. A third series of studies investigated differences in the knowledge people acquire from navigation and from map learning. Studying a map leads to a global representation of the environment, while navigation provides a linear, or procedural representation. Navigation experience is optimal for estimating route distances and orienting oneself toward unseen locations. Map learning is optimal for estimating the shortest distance between two points and determining relative locations of objects.

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Contents

Section
i
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE ACQUIRED
7
DISTANCE ESTIMATION FROM LEARNED MAPS
14
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