"Power Poses" are bullshit


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/04/power-poses-are-bullshit.html


I guess there is supposed to be some sort of psychological boost or something?

They aren’t bullshit in the sense that they are fun to do.


The reason other researchers have failed to reproduce the results is that they themselves have to be standing in a power pose while analyzing the numbers, or it just won’t work. Obvious mistake.

It also helps if they start by shouting “For Science!”


Power landings totally work – don’t they?

I always pause when there are three stairs left and do a proper jump with a 3-point landing!


They were, in fact, standing in a skeptical pose at the time (hands on hips, head cocked to the side), which biased the whole experiment.


Psychology is in some deep shit with all of this regression to the mean that’s been happening.


Dana Carvey is a professor at Berkeley?

Note to self: read more carefully.


I am concerned about the science here.

  1. I do not have any faith in the embodied effects of “power poses.” I do not think the effect is real.
  1. I do not study the embodied effects of power poses.
  2. I discourage others from studying power poses.

So, I do not study the thing I don’t believe in, and neither should you? This is not the definition of skepticism, in fact it is the opposite.


You know, that’s really hard on your knees.



Too much speculation about their efficacy, and not enough explanation about WTF they supposedly are in the first place.




Major Armstrong thinks your ‘science’ is bunk.


Hard charger alert! Power moves are “more than just looking cool and impressing your friends; it’s about being as awesome as you can be.”

The giant baby is coming, Ze and Motzart warned us. This plot to defame power moves is proof that we need them more now than ever.


Suggesting someone not waste further time on pseudoscience is most certainly a form of skepticism.

Do you think someone with a skeptical mindset just looks at terrrible research and tells their peers to cheer up, they’ll surely find something valid ONE DAY?

No, they discourage entrenched snake oil in academia. It’s not like they’re banning quack trends.


Right, cool, scientists only study true things and don’t waste time studying false things. Why didn’t they explain it this way in elementary school, it’s so much simpler!

Stones cannot fall from the sky, because there are no stones in the sky.
–Antoine Lavoisier



The issue is the claim that there’s a “hormonal effect” from the poses. Any psychological effect, e.g., I held this specific pose for a minute and it improved my relative mood, is indistinguishable from any other generalized stretching, mild exercise, yoga, or even just standing up for a minute. In other words, it’s a generic placebo effect.

(“Stand up and pose for a minute and you’ll feel a bit better” is quite a bit different from the initial paper’s claim “… that posing in high-power nonverbal displays … would cause neuroendocrine and behavioral changes … elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol …” and the like.)


I am looking forward to further TED-talk-related retractions.


I’m just relieved to see that Bruce Springsteen was only used for illustrative purposes and is in no way associated with any bullshit, perceived or otherwise.