Alternative MethodsConventional Methods


Creating your first Mental Map
Mar 22, 2021

Reading time less than 1 minute

A mental map is a first-person perspective of an area and how they interact with it. An easy example would be the image you have of your neighborhood. Your mental map of where you live allows you to know how to get to your favorite coffee shop. It is what you use to plan activities and routes to travel. This kind of mapping is studied by behavioral geographers to help them create things like improved driving directions.

Does Everyone Have a Mental Map?

Yes, everyone has mental maps. We use them to get around. You have large mental maps, things like knowing where countries begin and end and small maps for places like your kitchen. Any time you envision how to get somewhere or what a place looks like you are using a mental map.

What Is Behavioral Geography?

Behaviorism is the study of human and/or animal behavior. It assumes that all behavior is a response to stimuli within one’s environment. Behavioral geographers want to understand how the landscape can shape people’s behaviors and vice versa. How people build, change and interact with their mental maps are all topics of study for this scientific field.

How Mental Maps Can Change the World

Mental maps aren’t just perceptions of your own space they are also your perception of things like your nation. Popular perceptions of where a country begins or ends can impact negotiations between countries. One real-world example of this is the conflict between the state of Palestine and Isreal. There is little agreement on either side as to where each countries borders should be. The mental maps of those negotiating on each side will influence their decisions.

How the Media Affects Our Mental Maps

It is possible to create a mental map of a location you have never been to. Everything from websites to news reports to movies informs us of what faraway places look like. These images help us build pictures in our mind of these places. This is why skylines of cities like Manhattan are easily recognizable even to people who have never been there. Photos of popular landmarks can also help inform mental maps. Unfortunately, these representations can sometimes form an inaccurate mental map. Viewing a country on a map with improper scale can make countries seem larger or smaller than they are.


Leave your comments / questions for this practitioner

To write a comment please
or

Related Articles

View All
2 min.
Brain Hacking
Mar 29 2018
Hacking your brain with electronics

Neuroscientists are divided about whether electrical brain stimulation improves learning or helps depression, but that hasn’t stopped DIY hackers giving it a try.

Struggling with your mathematics homework? Sudoku proving too hard? Depression? ADHD? Post-…

Tommy Strickland
2 min.
Brain Hacking
Sep 26 2019
Friction between management and employees exacerbates insider threat

In recent years, we’ve seen some of the biggest companies in the world fall victim to data breaches.

But with much of the discussion being focused, to date, on how leaks occur, very few people seem to have stopped to ask why.

According to Verizon’s 2018…

Demi Powell
Brain Hacking
Sep 26 2019
Deep-seated intracranial hemorrhage and brain tumors

Kaisorn Chaichana, M.D., a neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, discusses minimally disruptive subcortical neurosurgery. Dr. Chaichana discusses how to reach deep-seated lesions for intracranial hemorrhage and brain tumors safely as well …

Demi Powell
2 min.
Brain Hacking
Mar 29 2018
These Mind-Boosting Magnets Effective In Treating Anxiety and Depression

One of the leading causes of disability in the United States isn’t physical—it’s mental. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 15 million adults—approximately 6.7 percent of the population—suffer from major depressive diso…

Tommy Strickland