Wayfinding as a Social Activity

Ruth Dalton, Christoph Hölscher, Daniel Montello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


We discuss the important, but greatly under-researched, topic of the social aspects of human wayfinding during navigation. Wayfinding represents the planning and decision-making component of navigation and is arguably among the most common, real-world domains of both individual and group-level decision making. We highlight the myriad ways that wayfinding by people is not a solitary psychological process but is influenced by the actions of other people, even by their mere presence. We also present a novel and comprehensive framework for classifying wayfinding in complex environments that incorporates the influence of other people. This classification builds upon the premises of previous wayfinding taxonomies and is further structured into four parts based upon (1) the nature of the interaction between the actors and (2) the time frame in which the interaction takes place. We highlight gaps in our current understanding of social wayfinding and outline future research opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number142
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2019


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