The structure of cognitive strategies for wayfinding decisions

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


Literature proposes five distinct cognitive strategies for wayfinding decisions at intersections. Our study investigates whether those strategies rely on a generalized decision-making process, on two frame-specific processes-one in an egocentric and the other in an allocentric spatial reference frame, and/or on five strategy-specific processes. Participants took six trips along a prescribed route through five virtual mazes, each designed for decision-making by a particular strategy. We found that wayfinding accuracy on trips through a given maze correlated significantly with the accuracy on trips through another maze that was designed for a different reference frame (rbetween-frames = 0.20). Correlations were not significantly higher if the other maze was designed for the same reference frame (rwithin-frames = 0.19). However, correlations between trips through the same maze were significantly higher than those between trips through different mazes that were designed for the same reference frame (rwithin-maze = 0.52). We conclude that wayfinding decisions were based on a generalized cognitive process, as well as on strategy-specific processes, while the role of frame-specific processes-if any-was relatively smaller. Thus, the well-established dichotomy of egocentric versus allocentric spatial representations did not translate into a similar, observable dichotomy of decision-making.

ZeitschriftPsychological Research
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 09.08.2023


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