Need to figure out your next big career move? Find the highest balcony you can and start pondering. Need to calculate the risk in shifting stuff around in your stock portfolio? Take a seat.
Why do we say that? Well, according to a new study published in the Journal of Marketing Research based on research conducted at the University of Toronto, how high you are is related to abstract thinking, whereas being closer to the ground is related to more practical thinking.
The phenomena is called “mental construction”—which refers to “where your head is” when you’re making a decision. A person with high-level mental construction is more concerned with questions that begin with the word “why”, whereas a person with low-level mental construction is more concerned with questions of “how”.
Researchers conducted six experiments, which included having subjects sit at different height and even being told they were on higher or lower floors than they were in reality, and found that subjects who think they’re higher tend to take big-picture approaches to decision making, whereas ones who think they’re lower tend to look at practicalities.
Of course, both perspectives are valuable—so maybe the next time you’re working on a big decision, take the time to think on it from different perspectives.