Environmental Cognition and Perception: What does it mean? According to UCSB's Dr. Dan Montello, perception and cognition of one's environment is the process of finding one's way, identifying dangers and resources, and in a more general sense how one's environment is understood. A great demonstration of this concept is the Mental Sketch Map, or a hand drawn map from memory of an area that one is quite familiar with.
|UCSB official campus map|
My six participants received these instructions and produced the following six maps: (please excuse the poor scan quality!)
|Drawn by 19-year-old female who lives on campus|
|20 year old male living in IV|
|19 year old female living on campus|
|21 year old male living in Isla Vista, recently moved from Goleta|
|21 year old male living in Isla Vista|
|21 year old living in Isla Vista|
- Most people are unfamiliar with buildings on the north side of campus (mostly administrative buildings)
- Living in Isla Vista gives one much more limited view of campus which largely excludes the dorm areas, etc
- One's mode of transportation greatly affected perception: those who bike always put bike paths down first, and those who walk start with foot paths!
- No one could correctly locate Campbell hall, although it is the largest lecture hall on campus which EVERY UCSB has had class in at least once....
Now: take another look at UCSB's offical campus map. The maps I collected from my participants varied greatly in layout, accuracy, and usefulness, but its extremely interesting to see how people perceive their surroundings.
|Again, Official UCSB campus map|