Other Studies

Study on the Influence of Field Cognitive Style, Gender and Spatial Terminology on Geographical Spatial Orientation Ability: Based on Experiments in Virtual Space

Gao Xueyuan, Dong Weihua, Tong Yiyi
Beijing Normal University
Journal of Geo-Information Science 2016-11

Abstract:Nowadays, studies of factors influencing geographical spatial orientation ability mainly concentrate on gender whereas relationships of field cognitive style and spatial terminology with spatial orientation ability have rarely been studied. This study used eye tracking technology to explore the influences of the three individual variables on spatial orientation ability. 86 people participated in the experiments with an average age of 21(SD=2.67). First, the test of embedded figures and a questionnaire survey were carried out to collect basic information of the participants including field cognitive style, gender and habitual spatial terminology. Next, the participants were asked to complete a series of spatial orientation missions of various complexity levels in a virtual 3- D environment. Through this process, participants' eye movements were automatically recorded by eye tracker. Spatial orientation ability was assessed by both completed results and reaction time which represent orientation accuracy and efficiency, respectively. Statistical tests were applied to test the significance of differences among different groups. Results show that there is no significant difference in orientation accuracy and efficiency among participants with different field cognitive styles as well as those with different spatial terminologies. It is demonstrated that field cognitive style and spatial terminology have no significant influence on spatial orientation ability. Participants of different genders show a significant difference in orientation accuracy which indicates that gender difference have a significant influence on spatial orientation ability. Males outperform females in the orientation tasks.
Keywords:geographical spatial orientation, field cognitive style, gender, spatial terminology, eye-tracking

Paper type:Published