Increasing the integrity of cognitive mapping research: appraising conceptual schemata of environment-behaviour interaction.
Progress in Human Geography, 20 (1).
This article examines the development of conceptual schemata of environment-behaviour interaction since behavioural geography’s inception in the late 1960s. Although these schemata have developed since then, they have remained naive and in many cases conceptually weak, lacking psychological ’depth’. It is argued that this is one of the prime reasons why behavioural geography failed to achieve academic ’take-off. Ways to increase
the integrity of cognitive mapping research are examined by developing and implementing an integrative conceptual schema. This schema draws together five contemporary theories concerning cognitive map knowledge’s content, structure and form, the learning strategies
used to acquire such knowledge and the processes of spatial thought, and interweaves them with basic transactional theory to produce a more detailed schema of spatial thought and behaviour. It is argued that this schema, by combining contemporary theories into a more complete whole, advances transactionalism by explicitly detailing the mental processes that are used in environment-behaviour interaction. This provides a theory which is framed in cognition and human agency, and which is reactive to environmental, societal and cultural contexts. As such, it provides a new theoretical framework for future
cognitive mapping research, raising new questions and providing testable hypotheses. In addition, the schema explicitly illustrates how geographical and psychological theory and practice can be combined to provide an integrative framework for cognitive mapping
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