We all know that sometimes other people’s confidence in what we say is affected by our body language, but scientists have now shown that our confidence in our own thoughts is affected the same way! When we sit up straight with great posture, we are more convinced of what we are saying, according to a study published in the October 2009 issue of European Journal of Social Psychology.
Seventy-one Ohio State students took part in the study, and they did not know the study’s purpose. Instead, they were told that they were taking part in two different studies, one to do with acting (holding various poses while doing other things), and one about business and job performance. They were asked to write down their best or worst qualities while they were sitting down with their back erect and pushing their chest out (confident posture) or slouched forward with their back curved (doubtful posture). Then, they completed a number of questions and reported their self-evaluations. Confidence in what the students had said, good or bad, was significantly greater when students wrote their thoughts in the confident than in the doubtful posture. The students did not especially feel more confident in the “confident posture,” but they did believe the things they had written more when they were in that posture instead of the “doubtful posture.” That means that we are not even aware of our posture’s influence on our confidence in what we say or write! Our posture directly affects how much we believe what we’re communicating, and it’s not just a matter of tricking ourselves by squaring our shoulders and “feeling confident.”
I’m sitting up straighter and straighter as I write this, and I hope you can use this information in your life. If you don’t want to second-guess yourself when taking tests, writing speeches, or other performing other important communication tasks, be sure to sit in a confident posture while you write or talk!
Body posture effects on self-evaluation: A self-validation approach (p 1053-1064)
Pablo Briñol, Richard E. Petty, Benjamin Wagner
Published Online: Feb 25 2009 10:32AM
Reported today by: The Ohio State University Research News
Photo credit: sfmission.com