MEN’S STYLE TIPS
We think not just with our brains but with our bodies
What you wear can change how you think!
We’ve established that how you dress really does make an impression on others and affects how they perceive you and how they treat you. Ever see a guy in shorts, tee shirt and flip flops get bumped up to First Class?
NOW a new study confirms that how you dress affects you!
Adam D. Galinsky, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, who led the study.
If you wear a white coat that you believe belongs to a doctor, your ability to pay attention increases sharply. But if you wear the same white coat believing it belongs to a painter, you will show no such improvement.
The findings, on the Web site of The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, are a twist on a growing scientific field called embodied cognition.
We think not just with our brains but with our bodies, Dr. Galinsky said, and our thought processes are based on physical experiences that set off associated abstract concepts. Now it appears that those experiences include the clothes we wear.
There is a huge body of work on embodied cognition, Dr. Galinsky said. The experience of washing your hands is associated with moral purity and ethical judgments. People rate others personally warmer if they hold a hot drink in their hand, and colder if they hold an iced drink. If you carry a heavy clipboard, you will feel more important.
It has long been known that “clothing affects how other people perceive us as well as how we think about ourselves,” Dr. Galinsky said. Other experiments have shown that women who dress in a masculine fashion during a job interview are more likely to be hired, and a teaching assistant who wears formal clothes is perceived as more intelligent than one who dresses more casually.
Clothes invade the body and brain, putting the wearer into a different psychological state, he said.