Research Log 1- “Fake it till you make it

My first piece of research for my topic was a Ted talk called “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”- by Amy Cuddy. This video was produced in June of 2012 and the speaker, Amy Cuddy, is a well-know expert in areas such as social psychology and no verbal behavior. I found Ted.com very reliable as it is a highly recognized website for educational videos on a wide variety of topics.

When beginning my quest on the influence of body language, I had already had an interest in self-improvement and personal psychology. What was interesting to me when I began to watch this video was how various animals have adopted certain “power poses” in order to show a sense of power within the animal kingdom. I was amazed at the fact that by just doing something as simple as broadening their arms or torso, other animals would react in accordance and shell up into a ball which shows a sign of weakness, “So in the animal kingdom, they are about expanding. So you make yourself big, you stretch out, you take up space, you’re basically opening up”. The fact that humans tend to follow the same approach as animals is amazing. It is clearly evident that sports stars or celebrities give off a sense of “power” or “confidence” by simple tricks with their body language. Research has shown that those who experience some sort of “power pose” for just two minutes, tend to have positive benefits within their mental state and self-confidence.

Cuddy speaks about her own personal experiences a couple of times throughout the presentation. These personal experiences tie in with various research studies that have been carried out on this topic. One question that arises from this talk that I am very interested to learn more about is “Can the idea of faking it till you make it really hold true?”. If we would be able to ingrain these so called “power poses” at a young age in junior schools across the country, I feel that peoples lives would only get better in the near future. If two minutes in a power pose can positively influence someone, imagine how amazing children would perform across all domains if they learned this from a very early age. I will end on this quote from Amy Cuddy that I feel is the ultimate reason why the world should try and incorporate theses tactics in schools, “standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident, can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact in our chances for success”.

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