This study examines how people read and comprehend house floor plans, by conducting a psychological experiment. In the experiment, 94 people are asked to classify 48 cards on which various types of floor plans differing along 5 dimensions were printed. Participants’ categorization data are analyzed in terms of (a) which attributes of floor plans people attend to when classifying them, and (b) whether and how people differ in the way of conceiving and classifying floor plans. Results show the existence of (a) a systematic pattern in people’s perception and conceptualization of house floor plans, and (b) group differences among people in the attributes of plans that they think important and attend to in classification. Implications for a housing information search and provision are discussed, particularly the possibility of providing information about floor plans in ways that are tailored to the recipient’s type of information search.
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