Dominance or prestige : A review of the effects of power poses and other body postures

Faculty/Professorship: Personality Psychology and Psychological Assessment  
Author(s): Körner, Robert  ; Schütz, Astrid  
Title of the Journal: Social and personality psychology compass
ISSN: 1751-9004
Publisher Information: Oxford [u.a.] : Wiley-Blackwell
Year of publication: 2020
Volume: 14
Issue: 8
Pages: 19
Language(s): English
Artikelnummer: e12559
DOI: 10.1111/spc3.12559
Research on the effects of body positions has attracted enormous attention in recent years but has been plagued by failed replication attempts. Today, there is some confusion about which effects can be considered reliable. One problem that may have contributed to this confusion is the fact that most previous studies have not clearly distinguished between different types of body positions. We apply the dominance-prestige framework to distinguish between two types of body positions. On the basis of this reasoning, we argue that research on so-called power poses in fact has analyzed expansiveness as an indicator of dominance, whereas research on postures has focused on the straightness of the spine, which may be seen as a display of prestige. We review the literature and conclude that there is no clear evidence that short-term interventions involving body positions affect physiology or behavior. Still, there are effects on actors' self-perceptions. Repeatedly, studies on power poses have found effects on feelings of power and self-evaluations, and studies on postures have found effects on emotional experience. However, there is hardly any research that has directly compared the two types of interventions.
GND Keywords: Körpersprache; Haltung
Keywords: body positions, dominance-prestige framework, physiology, behavior, self-perception, self-evaluation, emotional experience, types of interventions.
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: CR 9500   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 16. July 2020