Ahemd Sameer


1 Wayfinding Strategies in an Unfamiliar Homogenous Environment

Authors: Braj Bhushan, Ahemd Sameer


The objective of our study was to compare wayfinding strategies to remember route while navigation in an unfamiliar homogenous environment. Two videos developed using free ware Trimble Sketchup© each having nine identical turns (3 right, 3 left, 3 straight) with no distinguishing feature at any turn. Thirt-two male post-graduate students of IIT Kanpur participated in the study. The experiment was conducted in three phases. In the first phase participant generated a list of personally known items to be used as landmarks. In the second phase participant saw the first video and was required to remember the sequence of turns. In the second video participant was required to imagine a landmark from the list generated in the first phase at each turn and associate the turn with it. In both the task the participant was asked to recall the sequence of turns as it appeared in the video. In the third phase, which was 20 minutes after the second phase, participants again recalled the sequence of turns. Results showed that performance in the first condition i.e. without use of landmarks was better than imaginary landmark condition. The difference, however, became significant when the participant were tested again about 30 minutes later though performance was still better in no-landmark condition. The finding is surprising given the past research in memory and is explained in terms of cognitive factors such as mental workload.

Keywords: Memory, Wayfinding, Landmark, Homogenous Environment

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