Showing posts with label Belfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Belfast. Show all posts

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Cognitive maps, spatial abilities, and human wayfinding

Golledge, R.G., Jacobson, R.D., Kitchin, R.M., and Blades, M. (2000) Cognitive maps, spatial abilities, and human wayfinding. Geographical Review of Japan, ser. B: The English journal of the Association of Japanese Geographers, 73 (Ser.B) (2), 93-104.

Abstract

In a series of experiments in Belfast (Northern Ireland) and Santa Barbara (California) we used 10 sighted, 10 visually impaired, and 10 blind individuals matched for age, socio-economic status, and educational background to examine wayfinding. The participants were first required to take the experimenter over a familiar route to observe the types of behavior they exhibited. This established a performance base and provided a training exercise as participants undertook the set of tasks to be performed in the unfamiliar environment. Table 2 shows the aggregate results from participants' familiar environments.  They were then required to learn a new route in completely unfamiliar environments.  To do this the participants were given 4 trials - the first was an experimenter-guided trial and the next 3 were learning and evaluation trials.

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Belfast without sight: Exploring geographies of blindness

Kitchin, R.M., Jacobson, R.D., Golledge, R.G., and Blades, M. (1998) Belfast without sight: Exploring geographies of blindness. Irish Geographer. 31(1), 34-46.

Abstract

In this paper the transformed spaces of visually impaired and blind people is explored through a detailed analysis of interview transcripts with twenty seven visually impaired people living in or around Belfast.  Data were collected using a structured open-ended interview and were analysed within NUD-IST, a qualitative data analysis package. Analysis revealed that visually impaired people become spatially confused (e.g. lost or disorientated) for two primary reasons.  ‘Self-produced’ confusion is spatial confusion caused by the misperception / miscognition of a route (e.g. miscounting intersections). ‘Situational’ confusion is spatial confusion caused by a permanent or temporary localised occurrences such as road works, vehicles parked on pavements, and street furniture.  Both types of spatial confusion were found to induce feelings of fear and anxiety, leading to a loss of self-confidence, embarrassment and frustration, which in turn led to less independent travel and exploration, and constrained patterns of spatial behaviour.  Respondents detailed a number of strategies for coping with spatial confusion.  In addition, they assessed methods to make Belfast more navigable including environmental modifications and orientation and mobility aids.

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