The purpose of the present study is to find out 1. along what dimensions people perceive built environments, and 2. to what extent this process of perceiving and categorizing is influenced by architectural practice and experience. In this paper relevant literature on environmental, cognitive, and personality psychology literature is summarized and results of a study are presented. The questionnaire was based on the Repertory Grid technique and was used for examining the cognitive complexity of participants and their personal constructs regarding places. Results show no difference between the cognitive complexity of experts and non-experts, except that experts perceived/characterized the spaces along more dimensions. Furthermore, there is a significant difference in how personal constructs applied by the two groups can be sorted according to content. Finally, besides the numerical results of the study, the author shows the 94 dimensions people used to characterize different built environments.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.