Scaling techniques for modeling directional knowledge

D. Waller, Daniel Haun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A common way for researchers to model or graphically portray spatial knowledge of a large environment is by applying multidimensional scaling (MDS) to a set of pairwise distance estimations. We introduce two MDS-like techniques that incorporate people’s knowledge of directions instead of (or in addition to) their knowledge of distances. Maps of a familiar environment derived from these procedures were more accurate and were rated by participants as being more accurate than those derived from nonmetric MDS. By incorporating people’s relatively accurate knowledge of directions, these methods offer spatial cognition researchers and behavioral geographers a sharper analytical tool than MDS for studying cognitive maps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-293
Number of pages9
JournalBehavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2003


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