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26/9/2020  
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DEBATES

Can body language help us to be more powerful?


Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how "power posing" standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don´t feel confident can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
Redacción 30/10/2013 Send to a friend
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Studies shows that certain facial expressions, posture and even the color of your clothing can influence how you think and feel. Researchers have discovered that embodied cognition affects not only people’s emotions but also their ability to judge certain situations. For example, in one study, people unconsciously considered another person as having a “warm” or “cold” personality depending on whether they had just held a cup of hot or iced coffee. Another study found that people who held heavy clipboards gave more “weight” or importance to judgments they were asked to make than those holding light clipboards.

Amy Cuddy is an expert of the  “power poses,” such as putting one’s feet on the desk and leaning back, arms behind the head or standing with hands on hips. feet apart.  According to  Amy Cuddy “Our bodies change our minds, and our minds change our behaviour, and our behaviour can change our outcomes.” 

Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy is an expert on nonverbal communication. In her study she The Benefit of Power Posing Before a High-Stakes Social Evaluation  tested whether changing one‘s nonverbal behavior prior to a high-stakes social evaluation could improve performance in the evaluated task. The results show that the high power posers performed better and were more likely to be chosen for hire.

Cuddy´s research, done in collaboration with Dana Carney, has shown that adopting the body language associated with dominance for just 120 seconds is enough to create a 20 percent increase in testosterone and a 25 percent decrease in the stress hormone cortisol. In other words, adopting these postures makes a person feel more powerful.

In an a TEDTalk Amy Cuddy, "You must understand the people you´re trying to influence or lead by building trust first before demonstrating competence and power. You must be able to show them that you understand them -- and, better yet, that you can relate to them. By doing that, you´re laying the groundwork for trust. And it´s only then that they can really hear you and be open to your ideas. Trust is the conduit for influence; it´s the medium through which ideas travel. If they don´t trust you, your ideas are just dead in the water. If they trust you, they´re open and they can hear what you´re offering. Having the best idea is worth nothing if people don´t trust you"

Cuddy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom.


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