Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design (2001) 28(1): 21-37.

Cyberspatial Cognition and Individual Access to Information: The Behavioral Foundation of Cybergeography

Mei-Po Kwan

Abstract:  In this paper I examine individual access to information on the Internet through a cognitive - behavioral perspective. I argue that the objective structure of information resources in cyberspace is not helpful for understanding the experience of individual accessibility in cyberspace. Instead, cyberspatial cognition is crucial in constituting the effective cyber-environment and shaping human cyberspatial behavior. I propose a behavioral model of information access and examine how notions underlying conventional accessibility measures such as impedance and opportunity set can be extended for measuring individual accessibility in cyberspace. I argue that theories about spatial learning, cognitive mapping, and wayfinding behavior are helpful for understanding individual cyberspatial behavior. This suggests that behavioral theories and models may provide a theoretical foundation for cybergeography.

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