Spatial representations and mental maps of drivers



The article is devoted to the study of spatial representations and mental maps of drivers. The analysis of national and foreign psychological and socio-psychological sources of literature in the chosen topic was carried out. The scheme of functioning of the representations of drivers based on the interaction between explicit, implicit long-term memory and working memory at the levels of attention and automatisms is given. The cycles of learning and search, learning and activation, cycles of attention control are singled out. Driver behavior is seen as knowledge-based, rule-based and skill-based. The history of the emergence and development of mental maps, the mechanisms for the formation of drivers' ideas and the potential for using mental maps as an evaluation and control tool for the psychological diagnosis of driver candidates are described. For further research on this topic, the article presents the advantages of mental maps as a control and evaluation tool, and provides “lines of analysis” for interpreting test results. The creation of a methodology for mental maps of drivers is able to satisfy the need for effective diagnostic and research methods aimed at determining the competence of drivers and identifying links between driving style and features of mental maps, as well as predicting the inclination to create accidents on the roads.

General Information

Keywords: spatial representations of drivers, drivers' mental maps, driver

Journal rubric: Labour Psychology and Engineering Psychology

Article type: review article


Received: 10.01.2023


For citation: Kurilovich A.N. Spatial representations and mental maps of drivers [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2023. Vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 35–44. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2023120104. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Antonina N. Kurilovich, master’s degree in psychology, clinical psychologist, Institute of psychotechnology in social sphere, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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