Power Poses Can Make You Feel Confident

The senses of touch, body positions, and movements play a significant role in both romantic relationships and sexual encounters. Our physical attraction is evident in body postures, sitting close to one another, cuddling, and kissing.

How good is it to show that you are assertive in your body language?

Your “power poses” and confident behavior can be beneficial in relationships. Traditional cultures tend to praise the assertive behavior of men but not of women. Feminists may think differently.

What if you do not have an assertive personality? Can you become more assertive?

The studies have shown various ways to become more assertive in your attitudes, behaviors, and relationships. One of these is a seemingly simple technique: you just need to regularly train so-called “power poses” (Carney et al., 2010; Körner et al., 2020; 2022).

What Are the “Power Poses”?

The “power poses” are the wide-body poses, the superman-like poses. Researchers examined the effects of two types of body positions:

  • expansive body positions that reflect dominance, for example, standing or sitting in an expansive way and taking up as much space as possible;
  • upright postures, for example, standing or sitting straight (versus slouched); that body position is the nonverbal display of prestige.
ROBERT KÖRNER AND ASTRID SCHÜTZ, A Stronger Self Through Wide Body Positions, March 10, 2023

What the Studies of the Effects of the “Power Poses” Showed

Some researchers found that power posing increases people’s self-esteem and confidence, while others did not find these effects (Körner et al.).

Early studies, for example, showed that adopting wide-body positions for one or two minutes

“can make you feel powerful, risk-oriented, and increases the male sex hormone testosterone and decreases the stress hormone cortisol.”

Robert Körner and his colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 128 studies conducted between 1982 and 2022 with more than 10,000 participants on the effects of power poses. The cultural samples of participants were largely from the U.S. and European countries.

How Power Pose Affects Motivation and Behavior of People

The results of a meta-analysis of 128 studies conducted with more than 10,000 participants on the effects of power poses have indicated that

“Expansive body positions make people feel more self-confident, powerful, and in a better mood. People who engaged in dominant poses felt somewhat more confident, powerful, and positive than people who stood or sat in a slumped or contracted way. “

Most researchers investigated the differences in effects between high- and low-power poses. They usually did not include a neutral body position in their studies.

The effects of expansive and upright body positions were the same; both of these body positions affected people’s self-perceptions.

These body positions of people also impacted their real behavior, affecting how they became action-oriented and risk-prone through the poses. However, the effect of body positions on behavior was not robust.

The power poses, on the other hand, had almost no effect on blood pressure, heart rate, or hormones.

Body Positions Have Different Effects for People in Western and Eastern Societies

According to multiple studies, gender and age make no differences in the effects of body positions. However, studies found the effects of body positions on motivation and behavior in Western countries, such as Germany and the U.S. However, these effects were somewhat smaller in Eastern countries such as Malaysia and Japan.

Do “Power Body Positions” Really Help?

Robert Körner and his colleagues concluded that

“the adoption of expansive body positions for just one or two minutes can make people feel better.”

ROBERT KÖRNER AND ASTRID SCHÜTZ, A Stronger Self Through Wide Body Positions, March 10, 2023

So, the power body positions and upright postures can help people as a simple technique to increase their subjective experience of confidence, yet they do not necessarily change their behavior or relationships.