- This study was designed to determine what characteristics of individuals related to their ability to successfully complete a way-finding performance task in a novel environment. Hypothesized correlates of way-finding included self-efficacy, spatial orientation, spatial visualization, field dependence/field independence, sense-of-direction, and relative distance judgment. In addition, the individual's response to different kinds of landmarks (high- and low-imageable; landmarks at intersections versus landmarks along paths) was studied.
To study these relationships participants were taken individually on a tour of a small town they had never before visited. After the tour they were required to draw a sketch map of the area and to complete a search for certain buildings that were pointed out along the tour route. The sketch map provided measures of complexity, topological accuracy, and counts of elements seen along the tour. The search provided three measures of real-world way-finding ability.
Among the results was a high degree of correlation between the topological accuracy of the information on the sketch maps and way-finding performance. The study also showed a relationship between the field dependence/field independence measure and performance. In addition, the variables measured in the study were combined to provide a profile of good way-finders for this task.
- Dissertation Note:
- Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University 1982.
- Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 43-10, Section: B, page: 3347.
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