Her new research with Caroline Wilmuth and Dana Carney tests power posing in a real, high-impact social situation: a job interview.
Often, realizing that someone else has power over them, people hunch over their phones before an interview, which makes them feel even more powerless.
In the experiment, subjects that prepared in a different way, by adopting a power pose before a mock interview, got significantly higher scores from evaluators for hireability and performance.
Here’s how the authors sum up their results:
“This experiment demonstrates that preparatory power posing affects individuals‘ presence during a job interview, which in turn influences judges‘ evaluations and hiring decisions. Compared to low-power posers, high-power posers appeared to better maintain their composure, to project more confidence, and to present more captivating and enthusiastic speeches, which led to higher overall performance evaluations.”
Many interactions in the workplace have what Cuddy calls “power asymmetry.” One person controls the future of another, which creates an imbalance. “Power posing” is one way that people can change feelings of powerlessness, and get some of the performance advantages that come with being on top.