The construction of spatial mental models—A new view on the continuity effect

Jelica Nejasmic, Leandra Bucher, Markus Knauff
2015 Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology  
Many studies show that spatial reasoning with information that describe relations between two or more objects relies on the construction and inspection of mental models. This article mainly focuses on the phenomenon that humans have more difficulties in processing spatial information that is not directly related to each other-for example, presented discontinuously-what is also known as the continuity effect. The article investigates how humans integrate such information into one unified mental
more » ... odel. In four experiments, we investigated the question whether (a) reasoners construct more than one (preliminary) model, with the first two premises presented in a discontinuous description, and integrate the models afterwards, or alternatively (b) construct one preliminary model that is later modified in the light of the last parts of problem description. The results support the second assumption and offer a new view on the continuity effect and the fundamental principles of model construction and variation in human spatial reasoning.
doi:10.1080/17470218.2014.991335 pmid:25427989 fatcat:ye7busptmvadfpbiftzzamodvu