The first-perspective alignment effect: The role of environmental complexity and familiarity with surroundings
Wilson, Paul; Tlauka, Michael; Carter, Pelham; Mahlberg, Tim; Wilson, Paul N.
Paul N. Wilson
People often remember relatively novel environments from the first perspective encountered or the first direction of travel. This initial perspective can determine a preferred orientation that facilitates the efficiency of spatial judgements at multiple recalled locations. The present study examined this "first-perspective alignment effect" (FPA effect). In three experiments, university students explored three-path routes through computer-simulated spaces presented on a desktop computer screen. Spatial memory was then tested employing a "judgement of relative direction" task. Contrary to the predictions of a previous account, Experiment 1 found a reliable FPA effect in barren and complex environments. Experiment 2 strongly implicated the importance of complete novelty of the space surrounding the route in producing the effect. Experiment 3 found that, while familiarity with the surrounding space greatly attenuated the FPA effect with immediate testing, the effect reemerged following a 7-day delay to testing. The implications for the encoding and retrieval of spatial reference frames are discussed.
Tlauka, M., Carter, P., Mahlberg, T., & Wilson, P. N. (2011). The first-perspective alignment effect: The role of environmental complexity and familiarity with surroundings. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64(11), 2236-2250. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2011.586710
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Apr 20, 2011|
|Online Publication Date||Aug 1, 2011|
|Publication Date||Aug 1, 2011|
|Journal||QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||Frame of reference; Egocentric learning; Alignment; Spatial memory|
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