“When a person is in a space with a 10-foot ceiling, they will tend to think more freely, more abstractly,” said [marketing professor Joan] Meyers-Levy. “They might process more abstract connections between objects in a room, whereas a person in a room with an 8-foot ceiling will be more likely to focus on specifics.”
The research demonstrates that variations in ceiling height can evoke concepts that, in turn, affect how consumers process information. The authors theorized that when reasonably salient, a higher versus a lower ceiling can stimulate the concepts of freedom versus confinement, respectively. This causes people to engage in either more free-form, abstract thinking or more detail-specific thought. Thus, depending on what the task at hand requires, the consequences of the ceiling could be positive or negative.
Another example of how our surroundings and technologies affect the way we think, whether we know it or not.