| Psychological Science
Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance
Humans and other animals express power through open, expansive postures and powerlessness through closed, constrictive postures. But can these postures actually cause power? As predicted, results revealed that posing in high-power (vs. low-power) nonverbal displays caused neuroendocrine and behavioral changes for both male and female participants: high-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol, and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk; low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern. In short, posing in powerful displays caused advantaged and adaptive psychological, physiological, and behavioral changes—findings that suggest that embodiment extends beyond mere thinking and feeling to physiology and subsequent behavioral choices. That a person can, via a simple two-minute pose, embody power and instantly become more powerful has real-world, actionable implications.
Keywords: Nonverbal Communication;
Decision Choices and Conditions;
Risk and Uncertainty;
Power and Influence;