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Cognitive Mapping

A technique used in operational research/management science to allow the schematic representation of the system of concepts used by a respondent to communicate the nature of an organizational problem. Urban planners and geographers use the term cognitive mapping to describe a method which is completely different to that used by management scientists. For these disciplines, cognitive mapping is a mental abstraction that enables individuals to organize, store, recall and manipulate information about their spatial environment (Downs and Stea, 1977). Cognitive mapping has its intellectual antecedents in Kelly's (1955) theory of personal constructs, which focuses on the attempts of humankind to control their social worlds by continual sense-making activities. The map is a series of linked axiomatic statements about a problem or issue, the various statements being separately identified as an aid to the consensual resolution of the problem. The map is interactively produced by the researcher and respondent(s) (usually in ...

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