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Carmen Eugenia Guevara

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What is the impact of Amy Cuddy's body language practice, in cognitive terms?

The part of how the posture can stimulate hormones and make you behave in a most efficient way, I get it. But I feel as if we are missing what happens in between, in terms of thoughts.

If the posture generates chemical changes in terms of hormones, how does this relate to (or happen as the same time as) the mind-change here? Does cognitive disonnace occur between the thought "I am not sure I can do this" and the thought "I am perfectly capable of doing this"? Does one thought supress the other or just makes it less powerful for a few moments?

Thanks in advance for your comments, I am a psychologist and I find the idea of "fake it till you become it" absolutely wonderful, which is why I'd love to understand better the whole mental process that allows this to happen.

Topics: science

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  • Oct 15 2012: I think it's pretty interesting question,Carmen. And I love her talk, too.

    Btw, aside from your question, I just want to ask..
    When actors and actresses play their own characters, does this idea have to do with their actions?
    I mean, for them, it's almost temporary thing.
    For us, if we just fail to fake it till we become it, but instead, just fake it till we make it, what's the difference between actors and us?
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      Oct 18 2012: I guess if we just fake it till we make it, but not until we become it, then maybe we would be a little bit like "impostors", actors playing briefly a role but for a good cause, right? at least to have a temporary accomplishment, someone insecure could act as an assertive and confident person and succeed at something.
      Even so, I think that no one wants to feel like an actor. I think what Amy really meant is that this faking is kind of "taking the chance to believe that we are able to do it" (... because after all, maybe we ARE able).
      Thanks for yor comment!
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      Oct 19 2012: Elizabeth and Carmen,
      As a former actor, I suggest that we are actors, and actors are "us"...actors are people who can get in touch with various emotions and body language to project those emotions.

      I found that while playing a certain "type" of character for a period of time, I sometimes began adopting the look and body language of the character. When playing an elderly person for the two week run of the play, for example, I sometimes began to feel less energetic, when I looked in the mirror, I felt that I was older, etc. When playing the role of a younger, energetic person, I often felt younger and more energetic even when off the stage. So, I would guess that depending on how much we use this practice, determines how much it changes the chemistry in our body/mind.

      I also believe it depends on several levels of our own consciousness. For example, one time I was injured while sailboat racing in the daytime, and had a performance in the evening. On the way to the theater, I was in quite a bit of pain. During warmups (hair, makeup, costume, physical and vocal warmups, etc.) the pain started to subside and I sang, danced and acted a leading role in the musical production. There was no pain....I WAS the character, and the character had not been sailboat racing that afternoon.

      After the performance, the pain returned, so the next day I had it checked out....I had 4 cracked ribs. I continued the performance for two weeks, resting, heat, ice in the day, and performing without pain in the evening. This is not something that everyone can expect to do right away....I had lots of practice (faking it) before this situation:>)

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