Power-posing like a Superhero Transforms You into One

Power-posing like a Superhero Transforms You into One

Psychology October 27, 2014 / By Taylor Kreiss
Power-posing like a Superhero Transforms You into One

Harvard social scientist affirms that just 120 seconds of powerful posture increases testosterone (dominance hormone) about 20%, while dropping cortisol (stress hormone) ~25%. Superhero posture turns you into a superhero!

Not literally of course, we all know that would require a radioactive spider or the Weapon X program. Nevertheless, the lab coat sporting science magicians at Harvard affirm that “power-posing” spurs a super powerful reaction. Standing like a superhero is a (legal) performance enhancer for job interviews, exams, public speeches, athletic events, conversations with potential love matches and more – no pills or injections required.

What is this power-posing thing? How could it help me crush the LSAT and get the number of the cute girl sitting next to me?”

Let’s nerd about it.

Super Hero Body, Mind, Behavior and Performance.

Power posers outperform meeker postured competition like every time. The previously mentioned Harvard scientists conducted a study where they divided subjects into two groups. The first group was told to power pose before a mock job interview, while the second group was instructed to assume low power positions before their interview. The interviewers chose to employ the power posing group just about every time. Seems we feel, think, act like and become winners when we adapt the body language of a winner…and the most interesting part is that the effect is not just a mind-trick, there is chemical evidence of the change.

Getting your arms up like you just won the lottery, placing your hands on your hips like Superman or impersonating Captain Morgan for just two minutes will positively charge your neuro-endrocrine levels. After the job interviews, scientists tested the saliva of the power posers and affirmed that just 120 seconds of powerful posture increases testosterone (dominance hormone) about 20%, while dropping Cortisol (stress hormone) about 25%. The low power posing group had the opposite effect (elevated cortisol and reduced testosterone). Amazing. This study goes a long way to confirming that there is a multi-directional interplay between our body, mind and behavior. Posing like a superhero primes you for superherosim. No wonder superheroes are always standing, well, like superheroes!

Let’s get you started!

How to Become SuperYou.

Have a high-stakes event in the next few minutes? Before it begins, find a place to strike some grand heroic pose(s). Hold aforementioned pose(s) for 2 minutes. That’s it.
Not quite as spectacular as Peter Parker’s transition into Spiderman, but this is your superhero transmutation. It seems too good to be true, but there is (Harvard caliber) empirical evidence and I can say it has worked for me.

First hand testimony:

If you’re like me, job interviews usually cause self-deprecating thoughts, IBS and proof that I suck when it comes to high-stress situations. Yet, I struck a 2 minute Superman before a recent job interview and effortlessly knocked it out of the park.

I have always been terrified of public speech, but a men’s room Cap’n Morgan helped me find the swagger I needed to present a cocktail I made for a contest in front of >150 people. (No small feat for me).

This is a high Return-On-Investment lifehack that I think everyone ought to use. It’s so simple and the effects are so dramatic that it would actually be silly not to go stand like a super hero in the bathroom before a job interview (counterintuitive, but true).

Lasting Positive Change

You never see batman meekly postured. The man puffs out his pecs, draws his shoulders back and holds his chin up like an Obama Hope poster. When heroic posture becomes habitual, your hormone profile shifts towards increased longevity and elevated quality of life.

Low-power people display chronically high cortisol levels, which correlate with weak immune systems and increased incidence of disease. Low power and low self esteem are villains that can be subdued by taking on the habits of high powered people. Posture is an important one, so work on your superhero stance every chance you get.

** Simple advice given to me by a posture coach: weight in your heels, slight bend in the knees, back behind you and head up and away from the body. Better posture means better living, so get to it.

A Call to Action

I’d rather be SuperMan than Joe Schmoe. I’d prefer health over disease. I figure no (sane) person wants to live less well, so let power-posing be an incredibly easy first step in the direction of achieving superhero status. Don’t just think this is cool science or flat disagree that this is a worthwhile lifehack. Evaluate the evidence yourself, test it out and start a life of experimentation. Why not become a more capable/satisfied human being!!

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For my fellow science nerds, here is the empirical justification:

Amy Cuddy is a brilliant researcher who explains the science in an intuitive and relatable way.

Here is the research report.
Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal
Displays Affect Neuroendocrine

Here is a broken down version.
Business Insider: Power Posing

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