In 2010, researchers at Harvard Business School claimed to have found (PDF) that striking powerful poses caused hormonal and behavioral changes. "Power poses" seemed to raise testosterone, lower cortisol, and increase risk-taking behavior.
As with all research, replication was needed to check the validity of the results. An attempt at replication using additional controls, published recently in Psychological Science, found no behavioral or hormonal effects of “power poses," although they did result in a boost in subjective perception of power. In other words, the original research did not hold up.
The idea that powerful poses could have hormonal effects ties in with a prominent idea in behavioral science: the hypothesis that physical interaction with the environment affects cognitive behavior. It would make sense that there should be a physiological vehicle (such as hormonal changes) for this effect.
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