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We decided to bring people into the lab and run a little experiment, and these people adopted, for two minutes, either high-power poses or low-power poses, and I'm just going to show you five of the poses, although they took on only two.
When we think about communication, we think about interactions. So social scientists have spent a lot of time looking at the effects of our body language, or other people's body language, on judgments.
And we make sweeping judgments and inferences from body language.
So it doesn't have to do so much with whether or not that physician was incompetent, but do we like that person and how they interacted? So when we think of nonverbals, we think of how we judge others, how they judge us and what the outcomes are.
Even more dramatic, Alex Todorov at Princeton has shown us that judgments of political candidates' faces in just one second predict 70 percent of U. Senate and gubernatorial race outcomes, and even, let's go digital, emoticons used well in online negotiations can lead you to claim more value from that negotiation. We tend to forget, though, the other audience that's influenced by our nonverbals, and that's ourselves. I study prejudice, and I teach at a competitive business school, so it was inevitable that I would become interested in power dynamics. (Laughter) So they do this both when they have power sort of chronically, and also when they're feeling powerful in the moment. We don't want to bump into the person next to us.
So what happens, okay, you take a role change, what happens if you do that at a really minimal level, like this tiny manipulation, this tiny intervention? We don't want to prime them with a concept of power. We decided that the one that most people could relate to because most people had been through, was the job interview.
"For two minutes," you say, "I want you to stand like this, and it's going to make you feel more powerful." So this is what we did. This one has been dubbed the "Wonder Woman" by the media. You know, so we were of course horrified, and said, Oh my God, no, that's not what we meant at all. Again, this is not about you talking to other people. And those judgments can predict really meaningful life outcomes like who we hire or promote, who we ask out on a date.For example, Nalini Ambady, a researcher at Tufts University, shows that when people watch 30-second soundless clips of real physician-patient interactions, their judgments of the physician's niceness predict whether or not that physician will be sued.Is it possible that we could get people to fake it and would it lead them to participate more?So my main collaborator Dana Carney, who's at Berkeley, and I really wanted to know, can you fake it till you make it?And when I say minds, in the case of the powerful, what am I talking about?So I'm talking about thoughts and feelings and the sort of physiological things that make up our thoughts and feelings, and in my case, that's hormones. So what do the minds of the powerful versus the powerless look like? They bring their ideas, but as themselves, with no, you know, residue over them. And I woke up in a head injury rehab ward, and I had been withdrawn from college, and I learned that my IQ had dropped by two standard deviations, which was very traumatic.You get these equally qualified women and men coming in and then you get these differences in grades, and it seems to be partly attributable to participation.So I started to wonder, you know, okay, so you have these people coming in like this, and they're participating.So I want to start by offering you a free no-tech life hack, and all it requires of you is this: that you change your posture for two minutes.But before I give it away, I want to ask you to right now do a little audit of your body and what you're doing with your body. So I want you to pay attention to what you're doing right now.