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Do Humans have an Innate Sense of Direction?
D. J. Walmsley and W. R. Epps
Vol. 73, No. 1 (January 1988), pp. 31-40
Published by: Geographical Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40571339
Page Count: 10
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Children, Magnetism, Magnets, Adults, Geography, Southern hemisphere, Buses, Magnetic fields, Northern hemisphere, Navigation
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Thirty-five individuals were blindfolded and driven in a bus around a circuitous route for almost 20 km in an Australian country town. At four points they were asked, while still blindfolded and in the bus, to indicate the direction of the point of origin of the journey. When the mean vector and the homeward component ofthat vector were calculated from the estimates, participants proved to be able to sense direction reasonably successfully. Females tended to have a better sense of direction than males. Although adults generally had no greater direction finding ability than children, there was a slight tendency for young children to have higher errors in their estimates than was the case with older children. Ability to sense direction improved as the experiment progressed. Participants in the experiment were able to sense direction irrespective of the varying magnetic field caused by the bus itself.
Geography © 1988 Geographical Association