Kitchin, Rob and Fotheringham, A.S.
Aggregation Issues in Cognitive Mapping.
Professional Geographer, 49 (3).
Cognitive mapping involves the description of the way individuals store and process geographic information. Typically,
cognitive mapping data are derived from individual responses and then analyzed in one of three ways: (1) the individual
data sets are analyzed separately and only pooled for comparison (disaggregation); (2) the individual data sets are
averaged and then analyzed (collective aggregation); or (3) the individual data sets are analyzed and the results averaged
(individual aggregation). This paper compares the latter two aggregation strategies for analyzing cognitive mapping
data using data collected in a large-scale study of students’ configurational knowledge of the city of Swansea in the
United Kingdom. It is contended that the aggregation strategy adopted will have a fundamental effect upon the
conclusions drawn from a study.
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