Understanding Rigors of Research

Remington Sosa - 3

Relate in detail the efforts by Dr. Cuddy and her team to meet the rigid standards of research in this study.

Her question was very clearly asked an specified.

Do our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves?

Their hypothesis was appropriate and made sense based off of existing information.

When you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful.

The independent and dependent variables were identified.

Independent Variable:

The type of poses that they had the participants make. High-power poses or low-power poses.

Dependent Variable:

  • How they felt on a series of items

  • How they gambled

  • A second saliva sample

They tested multiple groups in their experiment.


There were two experimental groups in this experiment.

  • Group instructed to make low power poses.

  • Group instructed to make high power poses.

They made sure that their experiment was tested and replicable.

They spit into a vial, for two minutes, we say, "You need to do this or this." They don't look at pictures of the poses. You don’t want to prime them with a concept of power. You want them to be feeling power. They do this for 2 minutes. Then you ask them"How powerful do you feel?" on a series of items, and then you give them an opportunity to gamble, and then take another saliva sample.

Then listed her data and conclusion

“Two minutes lead to these hormonal changes that configure your brain to basically be either assertive, confident and comfortable, or really stress-reactive, and feeling sort of shut down. And we've all had the feeling, right? So it seems that our nonverbals do govern how we think and feel about ourselves, so it's not just others, but it's also ourselves. Also, our bodies change our minds.”

Measure and Compare:

Risk tolerance. When you are in the high-power pose condition, 86 percent of you will gamble. When you're in the low-power pose condition, only 60 percent will gamble. That is a very significant difference.

Testosterone. From their baseline when they come in, high-power people experience a 20% increase, and low-power people experience a 10% decrease.

Cortisol. High-power people experience about a 25% decrease. Low-power people experience a 15% increase.

They made sure not to prime the participants by making sure not to show them pictures of the poses that they wanted them to make.

All research in Psychology begins with a ‘Big Idea’. What do you believe was Dr. Cuddy’s ‘big idea’? Then, explain how that idea was turned into a ‘hypothesis’

Her big idea was that she could get people to change their behavior based upon some slight changes and tweaks in how they positioned their bodies. The data collected from primates in the past supported this theory or idea of hers that power posing could possibly help one fake it until they made it. It comes full circle in her leap in hypothesizing that "When you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful".