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Eller College Home > Faculty and Research > Research Buzz > Is It Light or Dark?

Research Buzz

Jayait Sinha

Keywords:

  • marketing
  • ethics
  • moral behavior
  • light and ethics
  • light and moral behavior
  • dark and unethical behavior
  • embodied cognition

Is It Light or Dark?

Recalling Moral Behavior Changes Perception of Brightness

In this research, we examine whether perception of light is influenced by recall of moral behaviors. While metaphors related to light and dark are consistently used to depict ethical and unethical behaviors respectively, we suggest that these metaphorical representations are also grounded in the sensory perception of light--brightness.

Consistent with the notion of embodied cognition, we find that when people recall unethical behaviors, they perceive the room to be darker and indicate greater preference for products (e.g., lamp, candle, flash light) that will brighten up the room than those who recall ethical behaviors. We report two studies in favor of our thesis.

Authors

Pronobesh Banerjee is a doctoral candidate in marketing at the University of Kansas. Promothesh Chatterjee is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Kansas. Jayati Sinha is an assistant professor of marketing at the Eller College of Management, University of Arizona.

Publication Source

Published in Psychological Science.

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