The Truth About The “Power Pose”

Photographed by Ashley Batz.
Can you boost your self-esteem just by changing the way you stand? For years, a few scientists — most recognizably one by the name of Amy Cuddy, PhD (from this powerful and viral TED Talk) — have claimed "Yes!" However, it turns out that other scientists have always been skeptical about the actual benefits of the so-called "power pose." And now, one of the co-authors of the study that inspired all of this posing madness in the first place has changed her, um, stance as well. In a document posted to her website, Dana Carney, PhD, says that she's just not buying it anymore, NYMag reports.
It's hard to believe it's already been four years since Dr. Cuddy gave the original power-posing TED Talk. (Now, with over 36 million views, it's one of the most-watched TED Talks of all time.) During that time, countless blogs and self-helpers have peddled the talk's main claim — that posing in certain ways can manipulate your brain's chemistry and fool you into having more self-confidence. The original idea can be traced back to Dr. Carney's 2010 study, which she published alongside Dr. Cuddy and Andy J. Yap, PhD. However, there's one big problem: In the intervening years, as the blog posts kept coming, it seems like Dr. Carney hasn't found much other evidence that the technique actually works: "As evidence has come in over these past 2+ years, my views have updated to reflect the evidence," she writes. "As such, I do not believe that 'power pose' effects are real." (Emphasis hers.) Of course, if you feel like power-posing works for you, feel free to keep doing it; it's certainly not going to hurt you. But there's really no good evidence it's going to make you into the #girlboss of your dreams either. For that, you'll have to turn to your grit, great work ethic, and epic smarts — we're sure you have it in you either way.

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