Characterizing Spatial and Social Strategies During Collaborative Situated Navigation

Authors: Crystal Bae*, University of California, Santa Barbara
Topics: Behavioral Geography, Environmental Perception, Communication
Keywords: spatial behavior, spatial cognition, navigation, wayfinding, route planning, conversation analysis
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Roosevelt 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Much prior work in spatial cognition has taken an individual approach to wayfinding research, isolating the behavior of a single person as the unit of study. This study explores navigation as it unfolds in a socially-situated context, observing people working together on a route planning and navigation task. I outline a characterization of spatial and social strategies employed by pairs of people (dyads) during planning and navigation in an unfamiliar, real-world environment. Participants collaborated on a task to both plan and execute a route between a given origin and destination point, varying broadly in their route choices and their strategies for carrying out their route plan. Using this rich repository of video-recorded interaction alongside collected data on participants’ plan choices and success, I investigate strategies of social role-taking (such as leading and following), the collaborative use of environmental cues and references, and the communication of uncertainty in wayfinding. I discuss early findings from my study and invite additional feedback on coding these spatial and social strategies. The coding scheme includes partnered coordination of map and plan representations, identification of landmarks, and analysis of options at decision points. This research agenda furthers our understanding of collaboration during navigation, and additionally illuminates the impact of social behavior on decision-making and interaction in a wayfinding task.

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