When quoting this document, please refer to the following
DOI: 10.4230/LIPIcs.COSIT.2017.9
URN: urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-77590
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Davies, Clare ; Athersuch, Lucy ; Amos, Nikki

Sense of Direction: One or Two Dimensions?

LIPIcs-COSIT-2017-9.pdf (0.5 MB)


The Santa Barbara Sense of Direction scale (SBSOD) has been an invaluable research tool for over 15 years. Previous studies with non-US populations, despite supporting the scale's internal validity, suggested national differences in individual item responses and possibly the factor analytic structure, although translation differences were confounded with cultural and environmental factors. Using a pooled British sample (N=151) - avoiding linguistic translation, yet reflecting 'old world' environmental experience and strategies - this paper revisits the SBSOD's validity and structure. While largely supporting the scale's internal validity across cultures and spatial environments, findings from this population suggest at least a two-factor structure underlying the scores, with the first factor explaining less than half of its variance, supporting the oft-discussed division between survey- and route-oriented strategies. We conclude by proposing a more nuanced, efficiency-based theory of 'sense of direction'.

BibTeX - Entry

  author =	{Clare Davies and Lucy Athersuch and Nikki Amos},
  title =	{{Sense of Direction: One or Two Dimensionsl}},
  booktitle =	{13th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2017)},
  pages =	{9:1--9:13},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-95977-043-9},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2017},
  volume =	{86},
  editor =	{Eliseo Clementini and Maureen Donnelly and May Yuan and Christian Kray and Paolo Fogliaroni and Andrea Ballatore},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl--Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-77590},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.COSIT.2017.9},
  annote =	{Keywords: sense of direction, spatial ability, cognitive mapping}

Keywords: sense of direction, spatial ability, cognitive mapping
Seminar: 13th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2017)
Issue Date: 2017
Date of publication: 24.08.2017

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