Cognitive Representations Of Urban Space Essay

Cognitive Representations Of Urban Space Essay

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As we move daily in our given space, the satisfactory accomplishment of certain activities depends on the organization of our journeys. The cognitive representations of space are affected and constructed by the individual in relation to his interactions with the environment. This is also dependent on the representation that the individual makes of the space he is led to cross. The mental and dynamic processes are different from one individual to another. During the observation of adolescents of different ages in various settings, the formulation of a hypothesis was made. This hypothesis stipulated that the cognitive representations of urban space would vary according to the adolescents’ ages and their respective social structures. This analysis was carried out only on two types of students: middle school and high school students in the San Pedro, California area. Given the similarity of the representations of young people ages, it seemed appropriate to group some ages together into one group. Five groups were thus constituted of 12 years old which represent the pre-adolescents in eight graders middle school students; 13-14 years old which represented the early adolescents’ freshmen high school student; 15-16 years which represented middle adolescents’ sophomore and junior high school students; finally, 17 - 18 years old which represented late adolescent senior high school students. Only the maps of each of these five groups are presented and analyzed in this article.
Depending on the environment in which these actions take place, other elements will appear to modify the internal representations of individuals. By observing middle school students (12 years old) and high school students (age from 14-18 years old) in school, it was ...


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...tion of the commercial area in the center of the city of San Pedro. At the Terrace Theater, Thursday midnight showing room are usually crowded with 16 years old and over high school students. It is a place of entertainment and sociability; young people meet with friends or in love. These leisure activities lead to many spatial practices in the city that influence and structure the representations of young people. The adolescents observed usually stayed in groups chatting together, and sometime acted without restrains around older individuals. Some did act disrespectfully and their clothing. This is maybe due to the absence of an authority figure to supervise them (their parents). They sometime use that time to express their autonomy in the absence of their parents. Often, when they return home, they conform back to the rules set in their homes (as best as they can).

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