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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 emotion ratings by experimental condition. Error bars represent ± 1 SEM.
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Figure 5: Mean emotion ratings by experimental condition. Error bars represent ± 1 SEM.

Mentions: The analyses indicated a pattern across the four emotions of large main effects of power, small main effects of gender, and no interactions (Figure 5). Accordingly, a MANOVA confirmed a significant main effect of power on emotions, Pillai’s trace = 0.40, F(4,2466) = 410.63, p < 0.001, = 0.400, 90% CI [0.376; 0.421], a significant main effect of gender on emotions, Pillai’s trace = 0.02, F(4,2466) = 13.98, p < 0.001, = 0.022, 90% CI [0.013; 0.031], but no significant Power × Gender interaction, Pillai’s trace = 0.00, F(4,2466) = 2.02, p = 0.09.


To Strike a Pose: No Stereotype Backlash for Power Posing Women
Mean emotion ratings by experimental condition. Error bars represent ± 1 SEM.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 5: Mean emotion ratings by experimental condition. Error bars represent ± 1 SEM.
Mentions: The analyses indicated a pattern across the four emotions of large main effects of power, small main effects of gender, and no interactions (Figure 5). Accordingly, a MANOVA confirmed a significant main effect of power on emotions, Pillai’s trace = 0.40, F(4,2466) = 410.63, p < 0.001, = 0.400, 90% CI [0.376; 0.421], a significant main effect of gender on emotions, Pillai’s trace = 0.02, F(4,2466) = 13.98, p < 0.001, = 0.022, 90% CI [0.013; 0.031], but no significant Power × Gender interaction, Pillai’s trace = 0.00, F(4,2466) = 2.02, p = 0.09.

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