The secret is to follow your nose: route path selection and angularity

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230 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents an experiment in which route choice decisions made at road junctions are recorded. Such routes can be expressed as the sum of individual decisions made or potential decisions available throughout a journey. Relationships between these aggregate values are assessed statistically, indicating that participants? decisions correlate more strongly with maximum angles of incidence of road center lines (leading from a junction) than to mean or minimum angles. One interpretation is that participants appear to be attempting to conserve linearity throughout their journey. However, informal observations of participants traversing urban grids cast doubt on the proposed theories of the conservation of angular linearity, requiring the theory's modification. The resultant hypothesis combines principles of a conservation of linearity while also minimizing the angular difference between pairs of bearings; the key bearings are the directions of potential route choices and a perceived bearing of the wayfinding goal as judged from sequential instances of the observer's location.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107 - 131
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


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