TED Conversations

Danger Lampost

Futurist & Technology Consultant,


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Why not make power poses the way you behave all the time?

If these poses are so good for increasing power and improving outcomes, increasing testosterone, and reducing stress and cortisol, why not adopt these power poses as your natural way of inhabiting the world? Why only do this just before an interview - why not all the time?

What would the social impact be if you assumed dominant poses all the time, regardless of with whom you are socializing?

The experimental data would suggest that merely adopting these poses, regardless of any mental intention or thought, is sufficient to produce the desired beneficial effect. Would doing this all the time "wear out" the effect, or strengthen the effect?

Would combining a mental intention - such as doing great at a job interview - with adopting the pose amplify the effect?


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    Oct 7 2012: Because people start to think you are scary. This can complicate many things. Some people may think you are not receptive to new ideas. Some may withhold vital information because they fear you. You can get excluded from team work and be viewed as too independent.
    • Oct 10 2012: I see this is a list of the many reasons why someone wouldn't want to be recognized as "powerful." The complications of displaying power poses can result in having to spar with the other powerful characters who will be jockeying for position. Men tend to spar out of a respect for ideas. An aggressive challenge that 'tests' for dominance is a social activity among men that women commonly misunderstand.

      Perhaps combining with body language some education about linguistic mannerisms? (recommend Deborah Tannen's books about power and control in the workplace.) There was a bit of discussion in Tannen's series of books about the effects of changing your speaking mannerisms and how it might affect the way people react and respond to you. Making some fundamental changes to body language would also similarly apply to changes in self image.

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