Striking a powerful pose like Superman or Wonder Woman does actually make people feel more confident—and maybe even behave more confidently—according to a new study.
The German team has confirmed what small studies already suggested, after crunching data from 130 different experiments from published and unpublished studies involving more than 10,000 people.
“We found a connection between an upright posture and power posing and a more positive self-perception,” said Professor Astrid Schütz from the University of Bamberg.
She and her colleagues at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Ohio State University decided to do a meta-analysis of many studies because previous research had only been done in small studies—some without control groups.
The research of power posing deals with the extent to which a bold pose can influence a person’s feelings and self-worth.
A common example is the victory pose with outstretched arms, which, according to several studies, can increase self-confidence.
They wanted to find out whether posture influences a person’s self-perception, behavior and hormone levels. The team used complex statistical methods to re-assess the data and found that a dominant pose can make you feel more self-confident.
The team found a similar correlation with behavior, for example task persistence, but these effects were less robust.
Their analysis did not find any proof of the physiological effects of power posing, however.
“The assertion that certain poses can boost the production of physiological effects, for example hormones, such as testosterone and cortisol, which had been claimed in previous research, was not supported” (or replicated by independent research groups), said MLU psychologist Robert Körner.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Bulletin, found no differences between males and females and across different age groups.
Now that research has confirmed a connection between an upright power posture and more positive self-perception, try sitting up a little taller with your chin a little higher.
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