Do expansive or contractive body postures affect feelings of self-worth? High power poses impact state self-esteem

Faculty/Professorship: Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment  
Author(s): Körner, Robert  ; Petersen, Lars-Eric; Schütz, Astrid  
Title of the Journal: Current Psychology
ISSN: 1046-1310
Publisher Information: New York, NY : Springer
Year of publication: 2019
Issue: First Online: 19 July 2019
Pages: 19 ; Online-Ressource
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1007/s12144-019-00371-1
The aim of the present studies was to investigate how high and low power posing influence self-esteem. High power posing is understood as the nonverbal expression of power through open, expansive body postures, whereas low power posing is marked by contractive and closed body postures. We conducted three studies with different methodological designs to test the effects of power posing. In Study 1, we randomly assigned 120 students to one of two power posing groups or a control group. All participants completed the State Self-Esteem Scale before and after the intervention. In Study 2, we examined effects outside the laboratory in a natural environment. We asked 49 participants to engage in high power posing in their homes. In Study 3, a total of 98 participants took part in an independent-groups posttest design (low power posing vs. high power posing). We also controlled for participants’ awareness of the research hypotheses. Consistent with our hypotheses, high power posing significantly affected self-esteem in all three studies. Contrary to our expectations, low power posing had no effect on self-esteem in Study 1. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.
Keywords: power posing, self-esteem, embodiment, nonverbal behavior
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Year of publication: 22. July 2019