The effects of geographic familiarity and map complexity on mental rotation

Kelene Fercho, Doug Peterson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined the effects of stimulus complexity and geographic familiarity upon mental rotation while simultaneously engaging participants in a simulated flight task. Nineteen licensed pilots (16 men and 3 women) participated in a mental rotation task. Results indicated a piecemeal strategy was used with maps representing an unfamiliar geographic area. Further, an exploratory analysis indicated that unfamiliar condition participants may have used a strategy described by Loftus (1978), in which two rotations are performed - the first from the cue orientation to the nearest cardinal direction, and the second from the cardinal direction to the target orientation. Those in the familiar condition used a nonrotational strategy (i.e., a piecemeal comparison between the presented map and their cognitive map) to perform the rotation task. Unfamiliar condition flight performance was more affected by the experimental manipulations. This suggests that cognitive transformations performed on unfamiliar geographic images are cognitively more demanding than those using familiar geographic images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication53rd Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting 2009, HFES 2009
PublisherHuman Factors an Ergonomics Society Inc.
Pages51-55
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781615676231
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event53rd Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting 2009, HFES 2009 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 19 2009Oct 23 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Volume1
ISSN (Print)1071-1813

Other

Other53rd Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting 2009, HFES 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period10/19/0910/23/09

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics

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