Geographia Polonica (1983) vol. 45, pp. 97-108 | Full text
Geographers have increasingly been trying to measure and work with variables that deal with cognitive information (Downs and Stea, 1973 and Gould and White, 1974). The usual purpose for gathering cognitive information is to use it as an in-dépendant variable to explain the distribution of some pattern produced by the decisions of individuals who supposedly used the information as the basis of their decisions. It is clearly an attempt to relax the economic man assumption frequently used in deterministic models which assume that man as a decision-maker has perfect information and also has perfect ability to use the information (Wolpert, 1966). Although a number of studies have used techniques borrowed from psychology to measure the specific beliefs and attitudes subjects have concerning individual geo-graphic units (Downs, 1970; Burnett, 1973; Demko, 1974; Lowenthal and Riel, 1972; and Lloyd, 1975), few attempts have been made to measure the total amount of infor-mation individuals or groups of individuals have acquired for specific geographic units. The total amount of information, although it is perhaps more difficult to accurately measure than specific beliefs and affects, would seem a logical starting point as we try to build knowledge of the cognitive environment.
Robert Lloyd, The University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA