Short term memory for stack and diagrammatic advance direction signs

Literature comparing stack and diagrammatic forms of advance direction signs was briefly reviewed. There appears to be little experimental support for the use of diagrammatic signs, even at complex intersections, except where some unexpected driving manoeuvre is required which can be shown in a simple diagram. An experiment was conducted to compare short term memory for stack and diagrammatic signs of varying complexity, with and without 'interference' during the period of retention in memory; complexity was defined simply in terms of number of alternative exit directions shown. The only significant difference found between sign types was for the least complex (two choice) ones, where diagrammatic signs were better remembered than stack. 'interference' resulted in increased forgetting of signs and, more unexpectedly, it also increased initial comprehension time. Clearly, use of diagrammatic signs is not warranted at intersections which are complicated only by their large number of exit directions. It was suggested that a critical element defining an intersection where diagrammatic signs are superior may be its geometrical irregularity, a variable which is currently being investigated.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 17-22
  • Monograph Title: Procedures for analysis of traffic flow patterns using detector loops
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 10
    • Issue Number: 4

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01439184
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 10:04PM