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Title: Measuring the emotional experience of pedestrian navigation : the development of a research approach for mobile psychophysiological experiments
Author: Mavros, Panagiotis
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 9493
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This doctoral thesis is concerned with two primary research questions: first, how does the subjective and emotional experience of urban environment influence the process of pedestrian movement and, second, how to systematically capture the emotional experience of active outdoor walking by harnessing two novel technologies for mobile psychophysiological measurement of electroencephalography (EEG) and electrodermal activity (EDA). In the context of a resurgent interest in walking and walkability, pedestrian movement is conceptualised as a spatial decision making process, where immediate perception, prior knowledge, preferences and affective experience influence the decision making of the person. The literature review first explores the cognitive processes, mechanisms and brain systems necessary for navigation in large-scale urban environments. Then, the process of decision making is reviewed, including the role of cognitive constraints, biases and heuristics. Based on neuropsychological literature about the influence of emotions on memory and decision making, this thesis argues that the manifold role of emotions in spatial behaviour needs to be better understood. To address these issues, a research methodology is synthesized drawing from environmental psychophysiology, behavioural neuroscience and spatial cognition, using mobile EEG and mobile EDA to measure how our bodies and minds interact with the environment. This methodology was deployed in two different naturalistic behavioural experiments with actively walking participants. The first experiment consisted of a structured route paradigm to demonstrates how this method can portray the pedestrian experience of sighted and visually impaired individuals. The second experiment involved a task of unconstrained navigation to study the subjective experience during district-wide pedestrian movement in a familiar environment. The results of these two experiments show how time-series of psychophysiological data can be analysed, aggregated and visualised at different spatial scales to compare with environmental characteristics, spatial decision making and subjective experience. An approach for the visual exploration of spatial patterns of emotion is developed to contribute in the wider effort of understanding the emotional experience of pedestrian behaviour in cities for research, planning and policy-making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available