Cognitive maps and spatial behavior: Process and products

Roger M. Downs, David Stea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

178 Citations (SciVal)


A series of examples indicate the pervasive influence of cognitive maps and mapping processes. Newsweek (June 15, 1970) quoted a London cab driver: "It's crazy, .. How do they expect anyone to find their way around here?" This plea resulted from an ingenious planning experiment in which sidewalks were widened and streets narrowed and turned into a system of mazes, dead-ends, and one-way routes. The objective was to create a confusing obstacle to drivers, forcing them to abandon habitual short cuts in favor of main streets, or, better still, to give up driving and use public transportation. That the drivers have well-developed cognitive maps is implied in one planner's claim: "You can't make it just difficult. You have to make it nearly impossible or you won't win."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationImage and Environment
Subtitle of host publicationCognitive Mapping and Spatial Behavior
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781351513647
ISBN (Print)0202307662, 9780202307664
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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