Psihologija 2007 Volume 40, Issue 1, Pages: 93-110
doi:10.2298/PSI0701093S
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Symbolic distance: Unfamiliar versus familiar space

Stojanović Radmila, Zdravković Sunčica

The symbolic distance effect was investigated using both realistic distances and distances represented on the map. The influence of professional orientation and sex on mental visualization was measured. The results showed that an increase of distance leads to an increase in reaction time. The slope for realistic distances was steeper. Male subjects always had longer reaction times, although the effect differs for the two types of distances. Professional orientation did not play a role. The obtained relation between reaction time and distance is a confirmation of theories proposing that mental representations encompass structure and metric characteristics. The confirmed role of the effect of symbolic distance additionally supports Kosslyn’s theory: there is a linear relation between the time and distance.

Keywords: symbolic distance effect, mental visualization, sex differences, Kosslyn's theory

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