TED TALK MINI RECAP- Power Posing: Fake it til you become it
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy gave a super interesting TED talk about her research in body language and how it relates to the communication and acceptance of power hierarchies.
Her main point was that most of what we think and know about body language has to do with how others perceive us and how we perceive others. Our chemical and physical state can affect and be reflected in how we carry our bodies. However, her research is more interested in flipping that relationship: can how we carry our bodies affect our chemical makeup?
Cuddy seems to think so, and she’s backed by biology. According to scientists, the two hormones related to power dynamics are testosterone and cortisol- testosterone governs aggressiveness, while cortisol is associated with the stress response. So some people (even animals) who are powerful tend to have high levels of testosterone and low levels of cortisol.
Her research indicates that adopting a powerful pose for just two minutes—such as with arms elevated in a V or with hands placed confidently on the hips—can actually raise testosterone and lower cortisol.
Adopting a powerless pose—such as shrinking down, holding yourself in your arms, protecting your neck— has the opposite effect.
Her lesson for us? If you find yourself feeling powerless or intimidated, fake it! Try power posing and get your testosterone up and your cortisol down—you might just find yourself actually feeling more powerful.
TED talks are designed to be short and intense, so check out her 20 min talk on Ted.com