American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

The Effects of Sense of Progression and Cognitive Distance on Path Choice and Walking Behavior While Aiming To Reach Destination

Mohammad Paydar and Samira Ramezani

DOI : 10.3844/ajeassp.2010.509.515

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Volume 3, Issue 3

Pages 509-515


Problem statement: Studies focused on walking behavior have indicated the relationship of different factors of built environment with walking to reach destination and walking for recreation. Furthermore, according to literature on path choice behavior, there is a relationship between walking behavior and path choice of pedestrians. Empirical studies on path choice behavior have also shown that the effects of different environmental variables on path choice vary with the purpose of the trip; whether recreational purposes or work-related walking trips. However there is a necessity to theoretically understand why consideration of purpose of the trip is important in studies of walking as well as path choice behavior. Furthermore, since reaching the destination is the most important travel purpose in daily activities, the environmental variables related to walking to reach the destination as well as path choice when aiming to reach destination need special consideration, if the goal is to encourage walking in daily basis. Approach: This study, therefore, relied on literature review to find answer to the research questions. Two concepts of instrumental and divertive behavior were used to answer the first research question. Research proceeded with making an effort to extract and introduce the main environmental variables related to walking and path choice of pedestrians when aiming to reach the destination. Results: Based on the definition of instrumental and divertive behavior, the necessity of consideration of purpose of the trip and its effects on environmental variables affecting walking as well as path choice behavior were theoretically verified. Moreover, two factors of cognitive distance and sense of progression were found to be the most important factors affecting walking and path choice behavior while aiming to reach destination. The physical features contributing to creation of sense of progression were also extracted and introduced. It is also suggested that sense of progression affects walking and path choice behavior through affecting cognitive distance and generating positive affective responses. Conclusion: It is suggested that future empirical studies be conducted to support the hypothesized relationships extracted and introduced in this study. Such studies would contribute to planning and design of urban spaces which would encourage walking in a daily basis.


© 2010 Mohammad Paydar and Samira Ramezani. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.