Saturday, December 29, 2012

vertical position, valence, and why a new shirt with the same pants counts as a new outfit

More often, I define a new outfit as a new shirt, with the same jeans and same shoes. But why when over half of the outfit is staying the same do I feel comfortable reintroducing myself as having "went home and changed"? Likely, for the same reason that maps have conditioned us to think that northern hemisphere is more valuable than the southern.

See the map above? You might have noticed it before on the dorm room walls of the hippy constructivist club. It's bizarro world, kind of. Up is down, left is right. It's the map of the world that we're used to seeing, flipped on its head.  

And it gets some of us pretty riled up; because the map impacts our perceptions. 

Turns out that we tend to perceive things positioned on top as more valuable than something positioned on the bottom; like, a bag of chips on the top shelf looks yummier than that same bag on the bottom shelf (read more).

So in orienting the map as north-up (which is just as correct/wrong as south-up), we are conditioning ourselves to think of north > south.

And the same can be said of getting dressed. 

A different shirt is a new outfit because the shirt is on top. And what's on top is more important. 

Which is also why members of the constructivist club don't wash their hair.

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