GeneralgeneralGeographyAwarenessHuman Geography

Don’t Go North, It Will Take Longer!

Or so people believe, studies show.  Wired News is reporting a couple of experimental studies that suggest people think “North” is a harder route to travel than “South”, even when moving in a fairly localized area.  The perception, apparently, is that North is uphill and South is downhill.  On trips to North Carolina, when I was a boy, my father would joke the trip back would take longer because it’s uphill all the way.  Apparently, his joke was more indicative of people’s perceptions than he knew.  Both of these studies use experimental situations.  It would be interesting to take real world travel information and see if people moving around in the real world actually behave the way the experiments suggest.  If you ask me, this says more about geography and spatial knowledge in the US than anything else.  It shows we need more spatial education!

One thought on “Don’t Go North, It Will Take Longer!

  1. I wonder if the opposite is true for folks from the southern hemisphere or if it is a global perception.

    In response to Frank’s example, it really is more uphill going from NC to WV along I-77 (of course now that I have said that I should probably grab the appropriate data and do a GIS analysis to verify my statement).

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