We know that making ourselves smile or frown can actually influence our mood, and now it seems that the posture we assume can affect our confidence in our own thoughts. A study by Richard Petty, who apparently is not the NASCAR driver but rather a professor at Ohio State University, demostrated the effects of sitting up straight:
Researchers found that people who were told to sit up straight were more likely to believe thoughts they wrote down while in that posture concerning whether they were qualified for a job. On the other hand, those who were slumped over their desks were less likely to accept these written-down feelings about their own qualifications…
How the students rated themselves as future professionals depended on which posture they held as they wrote the positive or negative traits. Students who held the upright, confident posture were much more likely to rate themselves in line with the positive or negative traits they wrote down. [From e! Science News – Study: Body posture affects confidence in your own thoughts.]
The researchers determined that the test subjects weren’t aware of their altered levels of confidence.
This is just another indication that there seems to be a feedback loop in our bodies that works both ways. Our mood can influence our facial expressions and posture, but it seems that adopting those expressions and postures can also affect our brain.
Now, sit up straight! And, while you are at it, let’s see a big smile, too!