Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Herbert Colle (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Configural spatial knowledge has been tested by having people point from one object to another or by having them sketch maps from memory. Several different pointing judgments have been used, but these judgments appear to differ both in superficial characteristics and in their implied theoretical mental model of spatial representation. This experiment compares two different pointing judgments: judgments of relative direction, based on a quasi-Euclidean model of spatial representation; and object-based judgments, based on an object reference model of spatial representation. Results supported the object reference model. Object-based judgments were more accurate, were made with more confidence and had shorter latencies than judgments of relative direction. Analyses of the sketch maps were consistent with the pointing judgments, suggesting the results reflect stored memory representations and not retrieval differences. Issues of generality of the results and practical ramifications of the research are discussed.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded