General, Research, Technology

Does a confident posture help build self-confidence?

Surely you have heard more than once thatTo gain self-confidence and prove to others that you are the main one in the room, you need to take a confident pose - for example, stand up straight and put your hands on your palms sideways. And if one can still think about dominance in the room, then there is no question of self-confidence. In a recent study, the results of which were published in the journal Meta-Psychology, the researchers concluded that the so-called “confident posture” does not really make you feel stronger and more confident.

If you take a confident pose all the time, nothing will change in your life.

Strong, confident woman

Remember the favorite pose of Wonder Woman - heroineDC comics and the movie of the same name - feet shoulder width apart, and hands rest their palms on their sides? Until 2010, it was believed that people who took such a confident (or power) posture had lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone), higher levels of testosterone, and overall they felt stronger and more willing to take risks. However, according to some scholars, there is not a single study in support of allegations that power posing works.

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The first study to refutethe opportunity to gain self-confidence, taking a confident pose, was released in 2010. However, the work caused a flurry of criticism, since subsequently none of the scientists was able to reproduce the results of the experiment. In 2018, scientists responded to criticism by presenting an updated analysis of their and other studies. In almost all the studies examined by specialists, power poses were compared with uncertain ones, such as stoop. At the same time, the absence of a neutral posture for comparison can distort the results. The fact is that there can be any difference between a confident pose and an uncertain one, since an uncertain pose makes you feel worse, and a confident one is better.

Confident Wonder Woman pose (actually doesn't work, sorry)

Researchers note that the number of peopleto the whole world, who believe in the effectiveness of confident posing, is huge. A TED Talk on Power Posing lecture alone gained over 70 million views, and a book on the same topic became the New York Times bestseller. At the same time, not a single study was conducted that compares a confident pose with a normal one and reveals any positive effect from the adoption of a confident, power posture. Moreover, seven previous studies did not find any evidence that a confident posture can give you self-confidence and change your life for the better.

“Stand straight”

Only 4 out of nearly 40 studiesStrength posing has been designed to shed light on the benefits of confident posing. One of these studies compared the effects of stooped, neutral, and dominant postures on feelings of dominance. According to the data obtained, feelings of dominance were highest in a neutral position, and the position of power was associated with a decrease in the feeling of power. Similarly, three other studies examined three postures to determine their effect on mood. All subjects who took part in the study reported significant differences in mood in different poses, however, scientists believe that the negative effect of the stooped posture affects the results.

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The only conclusion that researchers shouldto make from existing literature about gaining self-confidence through confident postures is that you should avoid insecure postures such as stoop. But this is hardly big news. In the end, all of us parents and teachers at school advised us not to slouch.