Cognitive maps

It is useful to have displays that show us the complexities of the person. People's minds are not always organised hierarchically, as we just saw in the taxonomies. They can be well represented in non-hierarchical network form: a collection of nodes attached by links. Cognitive maps display the person's representations of concepts about a particular domain, showing the relationships among them.

For example, the cognitive map in Figure 11.5 shows that the respondent thinks a wristwatch needs to be fashionable and how this need to be fashionable is reflected in such things as a good-quality leather strap, having sports features and having a case made from gold or stainless steel.

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