A Triangular Relationship of Visual Attention, Spatial Ability, and Creative Performance in Spatial Design: An Exploratory Case Study

Joori Suh, Ji Young Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Eye movements are highly dependent on the task and stimuli given to a viewer. If no tasks are specified, do individuals see the item or scene in the same way? How are one's spatial ability and creative performance in spatial design related to visual attention when looking at various visual aspects of an environment scene? This exploratory case study aimed at understanding individuals' visual attentional pattern when looking at three-dimensional environment scenes with spatially relevant or decorative elements and its potential link with spatial ability and creative performance, using eye-tracking technology. Thirty-eight interior design students at a Midwestern university participated in the study. Three results emerged. First, visual engagement with spatially relevant elements in an environment scene was typically stronger with the high spatial ability group. Second, although the statistical evidence was not strong, regardless of the location of the decorative visual stimuli, the high spatial ability group tended to pay more attention to spatial components than the low spatial ability group; whereas the low spatial ability group seemed to be more attracted to decorative visual stimuli. Third, in a few images, an individual's tendency to view certain aspects was found to negatively or positively correlate with creative performance. The study represents the initial step in understanding an individual's visual attention to spatial elements in environment scenes and its potential correlation with spatial ability and creative performance in spatial design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-27
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Interior Design
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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