Ambiguity in Acquiring Spatial Representation from Descriptions Compared to Depictions: The Role of Spatial Orientation
Adults can make judgments about multiple spatial relations based on information gained from different kinds of input, including maps, descriptions, and through navigation . However, factors such as spatial orientation influence performance. We investigated spatial orientation effects on learning from different media. In Experiment 1, participants learned a house from a map or a description. They then judged surrounding locations while imagining being in each room and they reconstructed the house. Participants who learned from a description performed worse on both tasks. Errors suggested they interpreted the term “in front” differently than intended . Experiment 2 tested this hypothesis by examining two factors influencing interpretation of “in front”, specific interpretation instructions and orientation information. The orientation information influenced performance more than the explicit interpretation of “in front.” Taken together, the results indicate multiple influences on the spatial reference frame participants use to interpret spatial terms.
Key wordsspatial descriptions reference frame spatial orientation map use spatial judgments perspective taking
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.Hill, C.: Up/down, front/back, left/right: A contrastive study of Hausa and English. In: J. Weissen and W. Klein, Editors: Here and there: Crosslinguistic studies on deixis and demonstration. Benjamins, Amsterdam (1982) 13–42Google Scholar
- 4.Evans, G.W. and K. Pezdek: Cognitive mapping: Knowledge of real-world distance and location information. J. of Exp. Psychol.—Hum L. 6 (1980) 13–24Google Scholar
- 5.Leiser, D., J. Tzelgov, and A. Henik: A comparison of map study methods: Simulated travel vs. conventional study. Cah. Psychol. Cogn. 7 (1987) 317-334Google Scholar
- 9.Golledge, R.G. and N.A. Spector: Comprehending the urban environment: Theory and practice. Geogr. Anal. 14 (1978) 305–325Google Scholar
- 11.Taylor, H.A. and B. Tversky: Descriptions and depictions of environments. Mem. Cognition. 20 (1992) 483–496Google Scholar
- 14.Shanon, B.: Room descriptions. Discourse Process. 7 (1984) 225–255Google Scholar
- 15.Levelt, W.J.M.: Cognitive styles in the use of spatial direction terms. In: R.J. Jarvella and W. Klein, Editors: Speech, place, and action. Wiley, Chichester, United Kingdom (1982) 251–268Google Scholar
- 16.Levelt, W.J.M.: Some perceptual limitations on talking about space. In: A.J. van Doorn, W.A. van der Grind, and J.J. Koenderink, Editors: Limits in perception. VNU Science Press, Utrecht (1984) 323–358Google Scholar
- 20.Levinson, S.C.: Frames of reference and Molyneux’s question: Crosslinguistic evidence. In: P. Bloom, et al., Editors: Language and space. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (1996) 109–169Google Scholar
- 21.Halpern, D.F., Sex differences in cognitive abilities. 3rd ed. 2000, Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates. 420.Google Scholar
- 22.Taylor, H.A., et al.: Is the donut in front of the car? An electrophysiological study examining spatial reference frame processing. Can. J. Exp. Psychol. 55 (2001) 177–186Google Scholar