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Measuring the emotional experience of pedestrian navigation: the development of a research approach for mobile psychophysiological experiments

Mavros, Panagiotis; (2019) Measuring the emotional experience of pedestrian navigation: the development of a research approach for mobile psychophysiological experiments. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This doctoral thesis is concerned with two primary research questions: first, how does the subjective and emotional experience of urban environment influence the process of pedestrian movement and, second, how to systematically capture the emotional experience of active outdoor walking by harnessing two novel technologies for mobile psychophysiological measurement of electroencephalography (EEG) and electrodermal activity (EDA). In the context of a resurgent interest in walking and walkability, pedestrian movement is conceptualised as a spatial decision making process, where immediate perception, prior knowledge, preferences and affective experience influence the decision making of the person. The literature review first explores the cognitive processes, mechanisms and brain systems necessary for navigation in large-scale urban environments. Then, the process of decision making is reviewed, including the role of cognitive constraints, biases and heuristics. Based on neuropsychological literature about the influence of emotions on memory and decision making, this thesis argues that the manifold role of emotions in spatial behaviour needs to be better understood. To address these issues, a research methodology is synthesized drawing from environmental psychophysiology, behavioural neuroscience and spatial cognition, using mobile EEG and mobile EDA to measure how our bodies and minds interact with the environment. This methodology was deployed in two different naturalistic behavioural experiments with actively walking participants. The first experiment consisted of a structured route paradigm to demonstrates how this method can portray the pedestrian experience of sighted and visually impaired individuals. The second experiment involved a task of unconstrained navigation to study the subjective experience during district-wide pedestrian movement in a familiar environment. The results of these two experiments show how time-series of psychophysiological data can be analysed, aggregated and visualised at different spatial scales to compare with environmental characteristics, spatial decision making and subjective experience. An approach for the visual exploration of spatial patterns of emotion is developed to contribute in the wider effort of understanding the emotional experience of pedestrian behaviour in cities for research, planning and policy-making.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Measuring the emotional experience of pedestrian navigation: the development of a research approach for mobile psychophysiological experiments
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071602
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