In the following TED talk, Amy Cuddy explains how your body language shapes who you are. 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.
Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.
“Risk tolerance, which is the gambling, what we find is that when you’re in the high-power pose condition, 86 percent of you will gamble. When you’re in the low-power pose condition,only 60 percent, and that’s a pretty whopping significant difference. Here’s what we find on testosterone.From their baseline when they come in, high-power people experience about a 20-percent increase, and low-power people experience about a 10-percent decrease. So again, two minutes, and you get these changes. Here’s what you get on cortisol. High-power people experience about a 25-percent decrease, and the low-power people experience about a 15-percent increase. So two minutes lead to these hormonal changes that configure your brain to basically be either assertive, confident and comfortable, or really stress-reactive, and, you know, feeling sort of shut down. And we’ve all had the feeling, right? So it seems that our nonverbals do govern how we think and feel about ourselves, so it’s not just others, but it’s also ourselves. Also, our bodies change our minds.” – Amy Cuddy, transcript of TED talk.