Using a few simple tweaks to body language, Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy discovers ways to help people become more powerful
Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” - 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 on our chances for success.
Although personality traits, long term predispositions for behaviour, have been generally downplayed and even totally discounted, in recent years there is gaining support for a five factor trait-based theory of personality.
Before you start your next assignment, take a quick assessment on your progress in your course. Would you say you were doing your very best? Did you meet your deadlines? Were you pressed for time on the readings?
Pop psychology tells us we can't go wrong with positive thinking. But new studies show that taking account of our obstacles is essential to success.
Gabriele Oettingen's psychology lab at New York University has showed that visualizing our aims as already achieved can backfire. The positive imagery can be inspiring at first but it also tricks the mind into relaxing, as if the hard work is done.
This means the more compelling the mental scene of success, the more likely it is that your energy will seep away.
In the study, volunteers felt de-energized after visualizing success in an essay competition. In another, participants who fantasised about their goals for the coming week felt less energetic and achieved fewer of their goals.