Power posing is a form of body language. With just two minutes in a confident, powerful stance one can change his or her attitude and the way he or she interacts with the world around them. In this TED talk Amy Cuddy discusses a research report from Psychological Science about power posing. In the study some subjects assumed a power pose for 2 minutes while others assumed passive or neutral poses. The subjects then went through a rigorous interview process to test their interactions. The research’s findings reports:
Humans and other animals express power through open, expansive postures, and they express powerlessness through closed, contractive postures.
These power relations are complimentary, with people naturally adjusting themselves during interactions so that one person assumes a more powerful role while the other person takes on a submissive role. The research shows that the subjects who assumed high-power stances acted more confident and relaxed during their stressful interview. The report states that:
High-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk; low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern. In short, posing in displays of power caused advantaged and adaptive psychological, physiological, and behavioral changes, and these findings suggest that.
Cuddy gives an intriguing talk about the science behind it and her personal story of pretending to belong until she realized one day she finally did. She says of the study:
Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves. Our bodies change our minds.
This research could have amazing implications for people who lack the confidence to confront people and/or have discussions. Just two minutes of high-power posing is all that’s required to gain the confidence needed to approach a scary boss, a bossy mom, or that obstinate roommate. Be timid no more! Go forth and achieve your dreams; awaken the power that is already within you!