Cognitive maps: what are they and why study them?

Kitchin, Rob (1994) Cognitive maps: what are they and why study them? Journal of Environmental Psychology, 14. pp. 1-19. ISSN 0272-4944

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It is often implicitly assumed by researchers that their readers understand what cognitive map and cognitive mapping are, and their justification for study. This paper differs in this respect by explaining explicitly the 'what' and 'why' questions often asked, demonstrating cognitive mapping's multidisciplinary research worth. First, it examines questions concerning what cognitive maps are, the confusion inherent from the use of the term 'map', and the usage and reasons for alternative expressions. Second, it examines the theoretical applications or conceptual research, concerning cognitive maps role in the influencing and explaining spatial behaviour; spatial choice and decision making; wayiinding and orientation; and the cognitive maps utility and role as a mnemonic and metaphorical devise; a shaper of world and local attitudes and perspectives; and for creating and coping with imaginary worlds. Third, it discusses cognitive mapping's practical and applied worth, concerning the planning of suitable living environments; advertising; crime solving; search and rescue, geographical educational issues, cartography and remote sensing; and in the designing and understanding computer interfaces and databases, especially Geographical Information Systems (GISs).

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cognitive maps;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > National Institute for Regional and Spatial analysis, NIRSA
Item ID: 5405
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2014 16:48
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Environmental Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes

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