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The use of sketch maps to measure cognitive maps of virtual environments

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2 Author(s)
M. Billinghurst ; Human Interface Technol. Lab., Washington Univ., Seattle, WA, USA ; S. Weghorst

Cognitive maps are mental models of the relative locations and attributes of phenomena in spatial environments. Understanding how people form cognitive maps of virtual environments is vital to effective virtual world design. Unfortunately, such an understanding is hampered by the difficulty of cognitive map measurement. The present study tests the validity of using sketch maps to examine aspects of virtual world cognitive maps. We predict that subjects who report feeling oriented within the virtual world will produce better sketch maps and so sketch-map accuracy can be used as an external measure of subject orientation and world knowledge. Results show a high positive correlation between subjective ratings of orientation, world knowledge and sketch-map accuracy, supporting our hypothesis that sketch maps provide a valid measure of internal cognitive maps of virtual environments. Results across different worlds also suggest that sketch maps can be used to find an absolute measure for goodness of world design

Published in:

Virtual Reality Annual International Symposium, 1995. Proceedings.

Date of Conference:

11-15 Mar 1995