chapter  4
21 Pages

Cross domain perceptual realities and Mickey Mouse

ByMark Avis

The purpose of the chapter is to examine the underlying psychological mechanisms for human engagement with brand mascots and characters such as Mickey Mouse. The idea of cross domain perceptual realities (CDPRs) is introduced, whereby it is argued that a range of psychological phenomena share a commonality in that they involve thinking of entity x in terms of entity y. The chapter examines the literature discussing CDPRs, and proposes that the theories of cognitive fluidity and conceptual blending offer an explanation of CDPRs. Further, these theories posit that cognitive fluidity and conceptual blending have cognitive benefits and this would explain why humans developed CDPRs. In light of the review, the most plausible explanation for characters such as Mickey Mouse is a ‘spandrel’ explanation, meaning that engagement with these characters is the result of other evolved capabilities.