The Media's Effect on Mental Map Creation

As humans, we often subconsciously attach emotion to the mental maps we've created along with the infromation that we've come to know, whether it may be accurate or not, this significantly alter's one's perception.

We must keep in mind that we shouldn't fully trust the infromation that is delivered to us. This is a deplorable issue that is never to be taken lightly like biased crime statistics, because regardless of where it may be from, it has enough power to influence over someone's choices.

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Mental Maps

A mental map is a first-person perspective of an area that an individual possesses. This is a type of subconscious map that shows the individual what places look like and how to interact with them.

Every individual has their own mental map, a large and a small one, wherein the former is used to recall towns, states, and countries; while the latter is to navigate smaller areas like your home, or the way to your favorite cafe. We subconsciously use our mental maps to plan all of our activities.

There is a division in psychology that looks at human and animal behavior, that division is called behaviorism. This theory assumes that every single behavior done is a response to environmental stimuli.

With this understanding, behavioral geography is seeking to understand how people build, how they change, and how the landscapes, in particular, affect and influence the behavior of both humans and animals.

  1. The possibility of every individual having different mind maps is likely. This is due to the fact that mental maps aren't just the perceptions of your own spaces, but they are also the perceptions of places you've never been to before.
  2. Mental maps are based on assumptions and conjecture which can affect human interaction significantly.
  3. Borders of neighboring countries may see boundaries differently.

Since mental maps can be created for places you've never been to for social media, news outlets, and even movies are able to depict faraway places for people to vividly create their own mental maps of them.

However, most media representations of these places are not entirely accurate and will only cause the formation of distorted or error-filled mental maps. Such in the case of the map we've all grown to see, the Mercator's map, wherein for centuries it has depicted the size of Africa wrongly.

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Understanding the world through mental models

A few months ago, the world seemed reliable, but now it is changing so fast and has so many unknown dimensions, it can be hard to try and keep up.

Mental models can help us understand the world better, especially during times of confusion. A mental model is simply a representation of how something works. It is a way to simplify complexity and provide direction for our choices.

Scientists have few clear answers about what caused the start of thousands of languages.

Collectively, people speak more than 7,000 distinct languages, with more languages spoken in tropical regions than in temperate areas.

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