Where did it come from, where do you go? Direction sources influence navigation decisions during spatial uncertainty

Brunyé, T.T. and Gagnon, S.A. and Gardony, A.L. and Gopal, N. and Holmes, A. and Taylor, H.A. and Tenbrink, T. (2014) Where did it come from, where do you go? Direction sources influence navigation decisions during spatial uncertainty. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68 (3). pp. 585-607. DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2014.963131

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Previous research on route directions largely considers the case when a knowledgeable route-giver conveys accurate information. In the real world, however, route information is sometimes inaccurate, and directions can lead navigators astray. We explored how participants respond to route directions containing ambiguities between landmarks and turn directions, forcing reliance on one or the other. In three experiments, participants read route directions (e.g., To get to the metro station, take a right at the pharmacy) and then selected from destinations on a map. Critically, in half of the trials the landmark (pharmacy) and turn (right) directions were conflicting, such that the participant had to make a decision under conditions of uncertainty; under these conditions, we measured whether participants preferentially relied upon landmark- versus direction-based strategies. Across the three experiments, participants were either provided no information regarding the source of directions (Experiment 1), or told that the source of directions was a GPS device (Experiment 2), or a human (Experiment 3). Without information regarding the source of directions, participants generally relied on landmarks or turn information under conditions of ambiguity; in contrast, with a GPS source participants relied primarily on turn information, and with a human source on landmark information. Results were robust across gender and individual differences in spatial preference. We discuss these results within the context of spatial decision-making theory and consider implications for the design and development of landmark-inclusive navigation systems.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Linguistics and English Language
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:24
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2015 02:49
ISSN: 1747-0218
Publisher's Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology on 6 October 2014, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2014.963131
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/78
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2014.963131
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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