The wisdom of the Church has been known for millenia, and now science has "proven" it: high ceilings are good for expansive, creative thinking.
A recent study at the University of Minnesota suggests that ceiling height affects problem- solving skills and behavior by priming concepts that encourage certain kinds of brain processing. "Priming means a concept gets activated in a person's head," researcher Joan Meyers-Levy told LiveScience. "When people are in a room with a high ceiling, they activate the idea of freedom. In a low-ceilinged room, they activate more constrained, confined concepts."
The labeling for their somewhat abstract concepts, "freedom" and "confinement," comes from a speculative paper on how lofty cathedral ceilings might encourage a different religious experience from the low ceilings of a modest chapel. Theirs may be the first empirical study to make use of these terms in describing concepts that influence behavior. Meyers-Levy and Zhu will publish their results this August in the Journal of Consumer Research.
This study was meant to apply to business methods, recommending that "managers should want noticeably higher ceilings for thinking of bold initiatives." What could be bolder than establishing a connection with God through the sacramental system of the liturgy? Let's end the age of ecclesiastical architectural mediocrity!