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Memorableness of Architectural Elevations is a Function of Distance from Prototype
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Theorists in environmental psychology typically assume that the built environment is known by the individual through perceptual and memorial processes. For example, an individuals experience of a building is predicted to be the result of transactions between characteristics of the building and characteristics of the individual. Two major goals of environmental psychology are to find " ... optimal environments for human living and provide guidelines for practitioners such as architects, urban planners, and institutional designers of all kinds." (Gibson, 1991, p. 88). However, most theories in environmental psychology have focused principally at a semantic, affective, or symbolic level of analysis and have failed to address analytically the architectural variables that contribute to such global evaluations of architectural style (cf. Baird & Berglund, 1989). In addition, understanding how people recognize styles and perceive similarities and differences between architectural forms is logically necessary to understand global evaluations of these same styles or forms.