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Perception of cognitive distance : effects of physical environment on the perception Murata, Kazuyjuki

Abstract

The lack of knowledge concerning the relationships between the physical environment and people's behavior was discussed in relation to the inadequacy of today's architectural programming. Possible applications of man-environment studies were suggested. Nature of the environmental information was analyzed, and a term 'cognitive distance' was defined. Essential variables that affect the construction of the mental map and the perception of distance were derived primarily from previous studies. The city of Vancouver was analyzed utilizing methods originated by K. Lynch, and a survey was conducted in the city to examine relations between the various variables and the perception of distance. The type of the distance examined was 'inward (toward downtown)’, 'ego-centric', and urban scale(4 mile) 'cognitive distance'. Results: Following four variables seemed to have effects on the perception of distance; sex, age, mode of transportation, and the score on 'Thing-orientation scale'. Male tended to be more accurate in their estimations (or to estimate the particular distance of 4 mile as being shifter) than female Ss. Ss aged over 20, or car drivers, or Ss with higher T-scores were also more accurate than younger Ss, or bus riders or car passengers, or Ss with lower T-scores, respectively. Concerning the possible effects on perception by physical variables, our results were unclear mainly due to the differing characteristics of the Ss at the four locations. Implications of results were discussed.

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