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Wayfinding Strategy and Gender – Testing the Mediating Effects of Wayfinding Experience, Personality and Emotions

Authors Mendez-Lopez M, Fidalgo C, Osma J, Juan MC

Received 30 October 2019

Accepted for publication 24 December 2019

Published 31 January 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 119—131

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S236735

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman


Magdalena Mendez-Lopez,1 Camino Fidalgo,1 Jorge Osma,1 M-Carmen Juan2

1Departamento de Psicología y Sociología, Universidad de Zaragoza, IIS Aragón, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas, Teruel, Spain; 2Instituto Universitario de Automática e Informática Industrial, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain

Correspondence: Camino Fidalgo
Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas, Ciudad Escolar s/n, Teruel 44003, Spain
Tel +34 978645320
Email alvarezcamino@unizar.es

Background: Individual differences have been seen to play a key role in spatial orientation. Gender implications have been previously described but little is known about how other variables, such as wayfinding anxiety, emotional difficulties and wayfinding experience can mediate this relationship.
Methods: A group of 269 participants were involved in this study and completed questionnaires on their self-reported allocentric orientation strategy, wayfinding experience and satisfaction with the ability for wayfinding. Emotional outcomes were also investigated: spatial and trait anxiety, neuroticism, difficulties in emotion regulation, and personal safety. First, a principal component analysis was conducted and the studied variables were grouped into four components: outdoor wayfinding experience, wayfinding-related fear, emotional difficulties, and effective wayfinding skill. Afterwards, structural equation modelling was performed, using the MPLUS statistical program.
Results: The results showed that gender constitutes a predictor for using an effective wayfinding skill and for feeling wayfinding-related fear. However, outdoor wayfinding experience, wayfinding-related fear and emotional difficulties did not mediate the relationship between effective wayfinding skill and gender.
Conclusion: These results highlight the differential contribution of gender in the emotions that are experienced during spatial orientation and emotions that are related to other types of situations. The limitations, strengths and theoretical implications of the proposed model are discussed. Further investigation is needed in order to understand the role of emotions in spatial orientation.

Keywords: anxiety, neuroticism, outdoor wayfinding experience, spatial allocentric strategy, spatial orientation

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