Post image for Study: Your confidence in your own thoughts is affected by your posture!

Study: Your confidence in your own thoughts is affected by your posture!

October 5, 2009

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
DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.607

Reported today by: The Ohio State University Research News

Photo credit:


Deneil Merritt October 5, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Now I am going to type all my posts sitting up straight. More so when copy writing on a sales page.
.-= Deneil Merritt´s last blog ..Flashback Monday – Income Report And Review =-.

christie October 5, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Excellent point! And I was just thinking – if I ever know I’m going to take a lie detector test, I’ll first practice practice practice, sitting as straight as I can!

Deneil Merritt October 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm

lol, that’s a good one. I never thought about that. I bet that would be a good way to pass a lie detector test.
.-= Deneil Merritt´s last blog ..Flashback Monday – Income Report And Review =-.

Ana October 6, 2009 at 7:24 am

Dear Christie,
This is true. The posture is the body and is not a stand-alone as it is affected by your thought processes and your feelings. These always have a direct affect on the body. This is experienced in our lifes everyday, if only we are aware of who we are, and how our own thought processes and feelings affect our own body. I am, are you?
.-= Ana´s last blog ..A moment =-.

christie October 6, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Hi Ana, Absolutely! I’d always seen how the mind could affect the body and make posture change (or other symptoms arise), and I’d even known that other people react to our body position and posture, of course. I was surprised to read that we actually believe our own thoughts more when we’re sitting up straight. I’m definitely going to sit up straight for a while each day and give myself a pep talk about the things I CAN do! :)

Walter October 6, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Oh my. As I’m reading this I’m assuming a slouch posture. Very, very interesting information you have shared here. :-)
.-= Walter´s last blog ..Why are we having problems with problem? =-.

christie October 6, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Hi Walter! Oh yes I love to slouch and read too. :) We’ll just have to remember to sit up straight when we want to really believe what we are writing or saying!

Sire October 7, 2009 at 7:31 am

OK, I must be the exception. I’ve always sat up straight and I’ve never felt that confident about anything. But then wait a second…..maybe all this time I’ve been doing it all wrong ;)
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Wassup With Halloween And Making Money =-.

christie October 8, 2009 at 6:05 am

Hi Sire! Aw, looks to me like you’re confident about the things you say! ‘Course I may not be sitting up straight when I read ‘em..

Sire October 8, 2009 at 6:13 am

Sure, that’s because when I say it, it’s just me and the keyboard. Put me in a room full of people and it’s a different story.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..BlueHost, CPU Throttling And Dedicated Server Packages =-.

Ching Ya October 7, 2009 at 10:59 am

I’m typing on my bed commenting now.. I have to change my posture immediately and sit up straight, put the laptop on my pillow so it’s ‘high’ enough. ^^ You’re right. I believe it’s the same when we’re trying to be convincing in our daily conversations, using the tone, gestures .. whatever that can convey our messages. Perhaps unawaringly, we missed an important message even when we’re writing/typing at our desks. A little change can make a huge difference. I’d really like to make this a habit — sit straight. Thanks so much for the tips, Christie.

Social/Blogging Tracker
.-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..13 Facebook Applications to Promote Your Blog =-.

christie October 8, 2009 at 6:07 am

Hi Ching Ya! Yes, those little things all add up – sitting straight, body language..apparently even influence our own minds. I’d like to make it a habit too. :)

Klaus from TechPatio October 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm

I also believe that this is true, actually read it in several books by now. It’s also a great way to “fake confidence” if you’re in a social situation that you’re not comfortable with. Force your body posture to show confidence and your mind will follow.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..The Importance Of Keywords In Your Domain Name For SEO? =-.

christie October 8, 2009 at 6:08 am

Hi Klaus – I think it’s cool that forcing the body posture into a confident one will point the mind in that same direction. Will definitely try to put it into practice!

Stefan October 7, 2009 at 5:23 pm

I think they might be on to something. Having a good posture often shows who are willing to take action (confident) and who are the followers.

This reminds me of the popular saying: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way”.

Have you noticed any difference since you started thinking about it. Except when doing lie detector test. ;)
.-= Stefan´s last blog ..Get People to Work For Free =-.

christie October 8, 2009 at 6:11 am

Hi Stefan – Yes I definitely notice the posture of others, strangers and those familiar to me, and it does imply a lot about their mindset, although I know a lot of people just have bad posture out of habit. Hahaa…a couple of times in the past few days I’ve had to write something that was a little tricky and I did sit upright to do so, hoping I’d be more believeable, at least to myself.

Stefan October 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Well, I believe in everything in this post so it must be true. ;)
.-= Stefan´s last blog ..Get People to Work For Free =-.

christie October 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm

;) It worked!

Evan Kline October 8, 2009 at 8:31 am

I think we also project that on other people, too. People who have good posture seem more poised much of the time, while people who slouch seem the opposite. I guess this is similar to what Stefan mentioned, above. I know I’ll keep this in mind.
.-= Evan Kline´s last blog ..Tinychat – Video Conferencing in Your Browser =-.

christie October 8, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Oh yes – fairly or not, we definitely project that on other people. I’m still amazed we even influence our own minds by sitting up straight. The mind-body connection is so complex and powerful.

Udegbunam Chukwudi October 8, 2009 at 11:14 am

Nice picture. Are they Copacabana chics or the ones that do Brazilian carnivals? Where’s George? He should know better.
This totally applies to me especially when I’m presenting a topic to my colleagues and seniors at work. When I’m confident of what coming out of my mouth, I stand upright as though I had a string moving through me, head to toe. When I’m concious of the fact that I never studied the topic is depth, I slouch and avoid eye contact and also pretend I’m coming down with something ;)
.-= Udegbunam Chukwudi´s last blog ..How To Register For ClickBank As A Nigerian =-.

christie October 8, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Hi Udegbunam! Yeah, these are from Carnaval in Brazil! :) How about that. I guess that’s why we all “know” when we are watching someone tell us something true – or at least we tend to believe it if it is delivered with confidence.

Thanks for your comment – please come back to MiscBytes soon!

Ricky October 13, 2009 at 6:58 am

Im sitting straight while writing this comment.Lol. I really doubt that i guess gesture is a better way to judge the persons confidence.

christie October 14, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Hi Ricky! Yeah, even if we’re not conscious of it we notice other peoples’ posture and make assumptions about it.

Nea | Self Improvement Saga October 13, 2009 at 10:15 pm

This is very interesting. I would’ve expected the study to show that posture is an indicator of confidence or self-doubt, but not that posture is actually a cause. I don’t know if that study is fact or hogwash, but it’s yet another reason to do what my mom always said–”Sit up straight!”
.-= Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last blog ..What It Really Takes to Achieve the Impossible =-.

christie October 14, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Hi Nea, I’m with you. I can see where others might be more confident in what we say if we’re sitting straight, but that the sitting straight is the cause is quite a thought. You’re right – nothing to lose by sitting up straight, just in case the study results are valid.

Thanks for your comment, and please come back to MiscBytes soon!

Eric D. Greene October 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I was slouching wayyy back as I first read this.

Now that my comment is complete. I’m sitting straight forward, chest out :D

Thanks – Eric
.-= Eric D. Greene´s last blog ..Conte Crayon – Self Portrait =-.

christie October 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

:) And a truer comment was never written!

Brad West October 16, 2009 at 9:16 pm

OK alright already I’m slouching!
Not because I do but because of your choice of pictures for your post! I had to slouch over further to get closer to the screen. Ok I living Las Vegas and these sites are not all that uncommon, I do slouch.

I am now putting a reminder right above my monitor so when I see it I will comply. WoW! I just had rotators cuff surgery and solders back hurts like crazy when I do that, Got my attention now!

Mind if I use your image as a reminder and motivator?
OK I’ll just use Bright yellow card stock with red letters.
Thanks for the great post!
Brad West ~ onomoney
.-= Brad West´s last blog ..5 Points to a Successful Mind =-.

christie October 28, 2009 at 8:18 pm

:D Brad you’re right – that was an eye-catching image all right! Thanks so much for the kind words – and please come back to MiscBytes soon!

Brian D. Hawkins October 18, 2009 at 1:47 pm

I remember from one of the many seminars I’ve sat through they talked about walking quickly with purpose helps our confidence as well as the way others view us. I have practiced this most of the time and I find it absolutely true. This is the first time I’ve heard about confident posture while sitting but it makes sense.
.-= Brian D. Hawkins´s last blog ..News Related AdSense Site – First Month = One Hundred Dollars =-.

christie October 28, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Hi Brian – Yeah it does make sense, and it’s something I have to keep reminding myself of. Heck, if I believe what I’m saying or writing, that’s half the battle… :)

Een Rockstar October 27, 2009 at 9:05 am

It’s just a psychology thing..take an example a guy who walk with good posture will make people thought that guy must be a smart and a confident guy..
.-= Een Rockstar´s last blog ..17 Awesome Twitter Tools, Plugin And Widgets For Wordpress =-.

christie October 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Exactly. This time the psychology is performed on ourselves, but apparently it works just as well! Thanks for your comment Een – please come back to MiscBytes soon!

Walker May 12, 2010 at 9:45 am

I think this was somewhat related to the blood flow going to your brain when you are sitting up straight. Honestly, I find this true for myself. Everytime I go for an interview, I tend to sit straight because it makes feel good. I felt like I’m more presentable and professional when I do that. I know it also make a good impression for other people esp. for the interviewer. It’s a two way benefit, I guess.

christie July 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm

You’re right – it’s important for how you look to the interviewer anyway, so it’s definitely is a two way benefit!
There are so many things we have yet to learn about the human body, and some things we may dismiss simply because we don’t yet know how they work.

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