Bringing the Text to Life
A university professor was in an airport recently, waiting for her plane to be called when her mind took off on a flight of its own. The professor was Joan Meyers-Levy, and she teaches at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
There in the airport, Meyers-Levy was conscious of being in a reasonably open space with high ceilings, but it occurred to her that she would soon be entering a cramped space with low ceilings — the airplane. That started her wondering whether ceiling heights could have any effect on how we think about things.
She took that question home with her and decided to try to find an answer. At the university, she conducted a series of tests in which she had students perform various tasks on a laptop computer — some in a room with a 10-foot ceiling and some in a room identical in every way except that the ceiling was two feet lower.
What she discovered was that students in the higher-ceiling room consistently did well on tasks where...