Cognitive Mapping Report





Our cognitive map depicted the first floor of John Jay, but in specific areas that best represented a diverse and rich population. We hoped to find areas that we considered to be “densely populated”, as well as match up the areas to our own perceptions of exactly how many people would be in one of the areas at a given point in time. Our hypothesis was that if we go through the New Building’s first floor with an idea of how many people should be there, then the expectations that our group will have will hold true to our population density map.




We first created a map of the following locations: The first-to-second floor stairs, the first floor landing, the John Jay Café, the Game Room, and the 1/2 floor landing. We began our data retrieval by taking the stairs from the second floor to the first floor, then weaved our way through the game room, crossed the first floor landing to the café, exiting the café to head back through the first floor landing, and finally taking the stairs to the 1/2 floor landing. We each had an idea of what the population in each spot would look like, which we categorized by colors – green was the best spot to be, because it had the fewest people sitting or standing in the area, blue was a medium-density spot, and red was the most highly populated area. We then compared our perceptions to what our map ended up looking like.




We found that our perceptions were a bit off from what we had actually documented the population density of the first floor of the New Building would look like. Our perceptions of the Café helped us hypothesize that the Café would be more densely populated, but when we ventured in that morning, the area was fairly sparse. Likewise, there were seats by the New Building stairs to the 1/2 floor landing that I had never noticed before, but were in fact loaded with people – mostly couples. The one area that matched our perceptions to our map was the game room, which was hard to maneuver through when we were walking towards our destinations. No matter the time or the day, there are thirty-some-odd boys dancing around with pool cues, their supportive (albeit bored) girlfriends standing by, looking less enthusiastic. This meant that our perceptions of what the New Building really looked like was not correct. Even when factoring in the time and the day, acknowledging that many students were still in class, I literally hadn’t noticed that the seats were there until one of my group mates had pointed out that there was a medium, blue density group sitting at them. Our group was in agreement that it is strange to see how perception differs from reality – we have been going to this school for nearly a year, and we still cannot predict what it will look like day to day.


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