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Surprising Science

Posture Helps Determine Status

Quit slouching—others may see you as weak! A recent study published in Psychological Science says posture plays an important role in how we perceive power in those around us.

Adam Galinsky and co-authors from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University discovered that “posture expansiveness,” or the act of taking up more space with one’s body, proved to be more effective in suggesting power than one’s hierarchical rank alone. Not only do these changes in posture reflect strongly on others—they influence your own tendencies. A more expansive posture activates power-related thought and behavior. These findings on perceived power versus role proved to be true in three separate experiments. … According to Galinsky, the role of powerful postures is important for those seeking new jobs in 2011.


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