Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Yingying (Jennifer)Yang

Committee Member

Michael Bixter

Committee Member

Jennifer Pardo


Research on spatial cognition has tried to understand how perspective (route vs. survey) and media (visual vs. verbal) influence people's spatial cognition on different tasks (e.g., map drawing, navigation, semantic and distance estimation) when materials are presented simultaneously. However, less research has focused on how those spatial features influence people's direction giving when materials are presented sequentially, one piece at a time. In the present study, participants were presented with fragments of sentences and map segments. After learning the materials, they were asked to give directions using their own words or including cardinal terms. As hypothesized, participants provided more accurate directions when presented with visual (map) than verbal (text) media; this finding is consistent with other research studies that show the superiority of visual over verbal media in many spatial cognition tasks. Exploratory analysis showed that participants used significantly more relative terms and streets in their route directions in the map condition compared to the text condition. However, results revealed no differences in route direction accuracy between participants who learned Without layouts and those who learned With layouts. Participants also included more streets and repeated materials fewer times when asked to give directions using their own words than when asked to include cardinal terms. Overall, results indicate that presentation media and spatial perspectives impact the quality and content of route directions.

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