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The Influence of Ceiling Height: The Effect of Priming on the Type of Processing That People Use

Joan Meyers‐Levy and Rui (Juliet) Zhu
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 34, No. 2 (August 2007), pp. 174-186
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/519146
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/519146
Page Count: 13
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The Influence of Ceiling Height: The Effect of Priming on the Type of Processing That People Use
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Abstract

This article demonstrates that variations in ceiling height can prime concepts that, in turn, affect how consumers process information. We theorized that when reasonably salient, a high versus low ceiling can prime the concepts of freedom versus confinement, respectively. These concepts, in turn, can prompt consumers’ use of predominately relational versus item‐specific processing. Three studies found support for this theorizing. On a variety of measures, ceiling height–induced relational or item‐specific processing was indicated by people’s reliance on integrated and abstract versus discrete and concrete ideation. Hence, this research sheds light on when and how ceiling height can affect consumers’ responses.

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