Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review and Summary of Research on the Embodied Effects of Expansive (vs. Contractive) Nonverbal Displays

CARNEY Dana R., CUDDY Amy J. C., YAP Andy J.
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Psychological Science 26, 5 (2015) 657-663

In 2010, we published an article in which two experiments demonstrated that expansive (vs. contractive) nonverbal displays produced subjective feelings of power and increased risk tolerance (Carney, Cuddy, & Yap, 2010). One of these experiments demonstrated that such displays increased subjective feelings of power, risk tolerance, and testosterone, and decreased cortisol. Our two experiments were the eighth and ninth to be reported in the literature on the embodied effects of nonverbal expansiveness—seven experiments on this topic were published prior to 2010. Since our article in 2010, 24 additional experiments on the effects of expansive postures have been published (see Table 1). Embodiment and the long-standing discussion of mind-body connection has its experimental roots in William James’s (1890/1950) theories of emotion and ideomotor action. Since then, many studies have demonstrated the bidirectional link between nonverbal behavior and human thought and feeling (see Laird & Lacasse, 2014). One such study was conducted by Ranehill et al. (2014), who reported a conceptual replication of one of our experiments: They found an effect of expansive posture on subjective feelings of power, but no effect of posture on risk tolerance, testosterone, or cortisol.