Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Power of Posing

Can your body language and movement effect how powerful you are as a person?
Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist from Harvard, argues that body language shapes who you are. After watching her Ted Talk this weekend I am a believer that the way you stand and interact can effect how confident you are. She uses a term called "power posing" which basically means standing in a posture of confidence. According to a study done by Amy Cuddy, "Power posing" can effect the testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, making people feel more sure of themselves and this stance might have an impact on their chances for future success.
This Ted Talk was reminiscent to me of the great Jay Gatsby. In an activity we did in class a few weeks ago we were tasked with the job of examining how characters move, and what we could infer about their values, their beliefs, their class, and their relative power. Through the examination of 42 quotes we decided that throughout different scenes, the character who does not move but instead other's move towards has the most power. We concluded that the person who was doing the least amount of moving was the most powerful because people were coming to them.
I think this is a nice parallel to the power pose because it goes further to say that you can infer a lot about someone's power just solely based on their gestures. Also it shows that to a certain extent you can teach yourself how to seem powerful and upper class even if you are not. Gatsby seemed to always be putting on a facade like this to try to fit in with the high class society that he did not originally belong to. I wonder if you can teach yourself the gestures high class people do in an attempt to seem like you are one of them, or if the only way to learn is by experience?

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