Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jennifer Yingying Yang

Committee Member

Jennifer Pardo

Committee Member

Michael Bixter


Wayfinding refers to the process people use to find where to go and how to get there. For that, they need information on the presence and location of landmarks in their environment to be able to navigate through their surroundings. Furthermore, spatial awareness is also crucial in the process. The present study aimed to study how modality, spatial perspective, and language influence (a) wayfinding accuracy, (b) cardinal term, (c) relative term, and (d) landmark usage in directions. The map and text were presented to native and non-native English speakers. They provided directions under route and survey perspective. The results indicated the effects of different modality and spatial perspective and also underscored the differences between natives versus. non-natives: (1) Wayfinding accuracy and use of relative terms were better under map than under text, but use of cardinal terms was more predominant under text. (2) Comparing route and survey perspectives, more cardinal terms were used under the survey perspective than route perspective. However, under the route perspective within the map, wayfinding accuracy and use of relative terms was better than the survey perspective. (3) Also, under the route perspective, more cardinal terms were used with text than with map. (4) Finally, while under the non-native condition relative terms usage was better under map than under text, under the native condition more cardinal terms were used with text than with map.

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Psychology Commons