North Is Up, South Is Down

A brief but interesting article in Yale Alumni Magazine about research conducted by Yale professor Joseph P. Simmons:

In a series of studies published in the Journal of Marketing Research, Simmons and a coauthor found that people generally assume it will take longer to travel north, are more likely to cash in a coupon if it’s for a store south of them, and think that moving companies charge more when transporting furniture north than south.
Simmons, an assistant professor of marketing at the School of Management, says the studies don’t mean that people consciously believe it’s harder to go north than south, but rather that their thinking can be influenced subconsciously by the pervasive association between north and up. “If you press them, they would deny believing this,” Simmons says. “It just shows that metaphors we use in everyday life affect our thinking and affect the choices we make.”

Quick! Somebody send some emergency upside-down maps! Via Collins Maps Blog.