Campus Directions

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Giving directions can often be a confusing experience, and when the directions are inadequate, they can cause people to become lost in unfamiliar places. We are investigating how people choose which buildings to use as landmarks in their directions, and how directions change based on what is known about the individual receiving those directions. Both Notre Dame students and Notre Dame alumni were asked to imagine giving directions to a student, a visitor, or a returning Notre Dame alumnus. We also asked them to rate how much time they spent in various campus buildings, and how imaginable they thought these buildings were. We found that people are more likely to use buildings as landmarks if they spent a lot of time in them and if they find those buildings to be easy to imagine. We are currently investigating if the directions given differ based on whether the person receiving the directions is a student, a visitor to campus, or an alumnus.

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