The effect of ceiling height on the symbolic distance effect

Masashi SugimotoKyoto University
Takashi KusumiKyoto University
Tokika KuritaNagoya University
Atsuo IshikawaTakenaka Corporation
Takeshi SakaguchiTakenaka Corporation
Megumi NabetaniTakenaka Corporation
Hiroki TakahashiTakenaka Corporation
Megumi NishidaTakenaka Corporation

Abstract

The present study investigated the effect of ceiling height on the symbolic distance effect (SDE). We hypothesized that a high/low ceiling height would produce a small/large SDE through divergent/convergent thinking. We prepared three SDE tasks: numerical, spatial, and temporal. Participants conducted these tasks in both high and low ceiling conditions. Results showed that in the spatial and temporal tasks, a high ceiling height produced smaller SDEs, and a low ceiling produced larger SDEs (but not in the numerical task). These results suggest that the environment affects not only cognitive performance but also the nature of mental representations.

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