Make Room For Thinking

Sweet vindication. I have long maintained that the bigger the room you’re in, the more able you are to think expansively, and the bigger the ideas you can create. I suspect this contention of mine has been seen by many as naïve, simplistic, and just my lame excuse to get out of the office or cubicle or whatever confined space I’m inhabiting at the moment. But the truth will out.

A recent study has confirmed what I have been saying. It concludes that, when you think in a room with a higher ceiling, you are inclined to “freer, more abstract thinking”, whereas, in a room with a lower ceiling, the tendency is to think smaller and focus on details. So there. Ha. (Obviously, I write these posts in a very tiny room.)

This study did not test that ultimate high ceiling—the out of doors—so the jury’s still out on that environment. But from now on, when I try to explain why I must run off to the nearest big mall food court or library to get some thinking done, I’ll be armed with at least one shred of evidence that my need to seek out an expansive setting is not pure folly.

Have you found this to be true, that you think better or bigger when you’re in a bigger room? I’m curious how common this phenomenon is.

39 comments:

T. Willerer said...

I couldn't agree more, Jim. I've also found that I'm more motivated in larger rooms (with windows).

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Sue said...

I realised that when i'm out of my office, i actually think better. I feel that when i'm in a room, i feel constrained, and constipated with ideas.

I prefer doing my thinking in a cafe or in the park. More energy there i suppose.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, a small place (with windows at least) can also motivate the nesting effect. Your tree house of ideas, where you feel safe, confident and focused.

The out-door is good to regenerate, to see, smell, feel more, but you've got the risk to scatter yourself.

Finally, i'm wondering if the best would not be to go outside for a while and come back in your small place for concentration.

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