Are northern routes perceived as being more strenuous? : evidence from an implicit and an explicit manipulation of strenuousity

Koster, Els K. (2011) Are northern routes perceived as being more strenuous? : evidence from an implicit and an explicit manipulation of strenuousity.

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Abstract:During the last decades, many heuristics have been found that guide human route planning. Often, these heuristics lead to biases in route planning. Recently, Brunyé, Mahoney, Gardony and Taylor (2010) found a new bias: the southern route preference. When people can choose between two routes of equal length that connect an eastern and a western point, they choose the southern route more often than the northern route. Brunyé et al. suggested that this preference may be grounded in the perception of the northern route as being more strenuous. This study investigated this idea by using an implicit and an explicit measure. According to the framework of Embodied Cognition, physical states can influence cognition without people noticing it. By letting participants wear a weighted backpack when performing a route choice task, the implicit idea of perceiving the northern route as being more strenuous is examined. An explicit manipulation was employed as well; participants had to choose a route based on route descriptions that were explicitly and clearly embedded in more or less strenuous scenarios. None of the experiments provided results that confirm the suggestion that the northern route is perceived as being more strenuous than the southern route. The implicit measure showed that wearing a weighted backpack did not lead to a stronger southern route preference compared to not wearing a backpack. The explicit measure did not show differences between route choices after hearing strenuous or non-strenuous scenarios. Because the results of this study do not support the suggestion that northern routes are perceived as being more strenuous than southern routes, it is more presumable that the southern route preference is caused by something else. An interesting topic for further investigation might be the influence of people’s spatial framework (Franklin and Tversky, 1990), which states that people conceptualize space in terms of three axes. Asymmetries in these axes might influence route choice. It might be interesting as well to compare route choice of people from regions located in the Southern Hemisphere with route choice of people from the Northern Hemisphere, to examine whether this influences route choice.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/59959
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