Indirect Expression of Preference in Sketch Maps

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First graders, fifth graders, university students, and older adults drew sketch maps of familiar environments. Not until after the sketch maps were collected did subjects have any idea that the study had anything to do with expression of preferences. At that time, subjects were asked to identify (recall) objects located in the environment drawn that they liked most, disliked most, and about which they felt neutral These items were compared with other items on the sketch maps to determine whether they were drawn on the same scale, were emphasized, or were absent. A similar pattern of results was found across age groups; most of the subjects did not draw items they disliked on their sketch maps. These results suggested a dissociation between indirect (map drawing) and direct (specific recall) approaches to expressing preferences.