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To Strike a Pose: No Stereotype Backlash for Power Posing Women

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Power posing, the adoption of open and powerful postures, has effects that parallel those of actual social power. This study explored the social evaluation of adopting powerful vs. powerless body postures in men and women regarding perceived warmth, competence, and the likelihood of eliciting admiration, envy, pity, and contempt. Previous findings suggest that the display of power by women may have side effects due to gender stereotyping, namely reduced warmth ratings and negative emotional reactions. An experiment (N = 2,473) asked participants to rate pictures of men and women who adopted high-power or low-power body postures. High-power posers were rated higher on competence, admiration, envy, and contempt compared to low-power posers, whereas the opposite was true for pity. There was no impact of power posing on perceived warmth. Contrary to expectations, the poser’s gender did not moderate any of the effects. These findings suggest that non-verbal displays of power do influence fundamental dimensions of social perception and their accompanying emotional reactions but result in comparably positive and negative evaluations for both genders.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Two sample sequences of stimulus photographs in the female high-power postures condition. The sequence of depicted models and adopted postures (and hence the combinations of model and posture) was random.
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Figure 2: Two sample sequences of stimulus photographs in the female high-power postures condition. The sequence of depicted models and adopted postures (and hence the combinations of model and posture) was random.

Mentions: The participants were welcomed to the study, which was announced as a study on impression formation. First, we assessed mood and arousal via the SAM. The participants were then randomly assigned to one out of four conditions. In each condition, participants observed and rated three photographs, which consisted of three different models of the same gender who adopted three different postures of the same power condition (either low-power or high-power, see Figure 2 for an example). The sequences of models and postures were completely randomized, that is, each model of either gender condition could be displayed in each posture at each position. To ensure that participants based their ratings on their first impression of the depicted models, we displayed each photograph for 15 s. After each photograph, we asked participants to evaluate the person they had just observed with regard to the dependent variables. In the end, we asked participants to indicate what they thought the study was about (i.e., suspicion check).


To Strike a Pose: No Stereotype Backlash for Power Posing Women
Two sample sequences of stimulus photographs in the female high-power postures condition. The sequence of depicted models and adopted postures (and hence the combinations of model and posture) was random.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037219&req=5

Figure 2: Two sample sequences of stimulus photographs in the female high-power postures condition. The sequence of depicted models and adopted postures (and hence the combinations of model and posture) was random.
Mentions: The participants were welcomed to the study, which was announced as a study on impression formation. First, we assessed mood and arousal via the SAM. The participants were then randomly assigned to one out of four conditions. In each condition, participants observed and rated three photographs, which consisted of three different models of the same gender who adopted three different postures of the same power condition (either low-power or high-power, see Figure 2 for an example). The sequences of models and postures were completely randomized, that is, each model of either gender condition could be displayed in each posture at each position. To ensure that participants based their ratings on their first impression of the depicted models, we displayed each photograph for 15 s. After each photograph, we asked participants to evaluate the person they had just observed with regard to the dependent variables. In the end, we asked participants to indicate what they thought the study was about (i.e., suspicion check).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Power posing, the adoption of open and powerful postures, has effects that parallel those of actual social power. This study explored the social evaluation of adopting powerful vs. powerless body postures in men and women regarding perceived warmth, competence, and the likelihood of eliciting admiration, envy, pity, and contempt. Previous findings suggest that the display of power by women may have side effects due to gender stereotyping, namely reduced warmth ratings and negative emotional reactions. An experiment (N = 2,473) asked participants to rate pictures of men and women who adopted high-power or low-power body postures. High-power posers were rated higher on competence, admiration, envy, and contempt compared to low-power posers, whereas the opposite was true for pity. There was no impact of power posing on perceived warmth. Contrary to expectations, the poser’s gender did not moderate any of the effects. These findings suggest that non-verbal displays of power do influence fundamental dimensions of social perception and their accompanying emotional reactions but result in comparably positive and negative evaluations for both genders.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus