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

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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.

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Mean competence ratings by experimental condition. Error bars represent ± 1 standard error of the mean (SEM).
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Figure 3: Mean competence ratings by experimental condition. Error bars represent ± 1 standard error of the mean (SEM).

Mentions: There was a significant main effect of power, F(1,2469) = 1006.89, p < 0.001, = 0.290, 90% CI [0.266; 0.313]. Participants assigned higher competence ratings to high-power posers (M = 4.01, SD = 0.70) compared to low-power posers (M = 3.08, SD = 0.75). Therefore, H1 was upheld. Additionally, there was a small but significant main effect of gender, F(1,2469) = 18.70, p < 0.001, = 0.008, 90% CI [0.003; 0.014], with participants granting slightly higher competence ratings to female posers (M = 3.59, SD = 0.86) than to male posers (M = 3.48, SD = 0.87). As expected, the Power × Gender interaction was not significant, F(1,2469) = 0.15, p = 0.70; hence, the tendency to rate high-power posers as more competent was independent of poser’s gender (Figure 3).


To Strike a Pose: No Stereotype Backlash for Power Posing Women
Mean competence ratings by experimental condition. Error bars represent ± 1 standard error of the mean (SEM).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 3: Mean competence ratings by experimental condition. Error bars represent ± 1 standard error of the mean (SEM).
Mentions: There was a significant main effect of power, F(1,2469) = 1006.89, p < 0.001, = 0.290, 90% CI [0.266; 0.313]. Participants assigned higher competence ratings to high-power posers (M = 4.01, SD = 0.70) compared to low-power posers (M = 3.08, SD = 0.75). Therefore, H1 was upheld. Additionally, there was a small but significant main effect of gender, F(1,2469) = 18.70, p < 0.001, = 0.008, 90% CI [0.003; 0.014], with participants granting slightly higher competence ratings to female posers (M = 3.59, SD = 0.86) than to male posers (M = 3.48, SD = 0.87). As expected, the Power × Gender interaction was not significant, F(1,2469) = 0.15, p = 0.70; hence, the tendency to rate high-power posers as more competent was independent of poser’s gender (Figure 3).

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&rsquo;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