Get Smarter with Smart Clothes
The latest sexy field in psychology is one that you may never have heard about yet see the effects every day. It is called “Embodied Cognition”. We won’t get too fancy on you but an example of this is wearing “smart clothes”. People who took tests wearing a doctor’s lab coat did better than those who were told to put on a house painters smock, even though it was the same coat! Go figger!
The brain is not the only resource we use to generate behavior, it turns out. The saying, “perception is reality” comes into play here, as well. People wearing back packs have been shown to think that hills are steeper than hikers without them. Holding a cup of heated liquid tends to make you think more warmly of people than clenching a cold cup does: physical warmth equates to social warmth. In another study it was found that actors remember their lines better when memorizing them while they gesture or move around. In Montessori schools learning comes through moving, too. Children learn the alphabet by tracing letters and their ‘rithmetic with blocks and cubes. It is all about mind and body, not just listening to a teacher preach.
Our environment has an influence we may not recognize. For example, changing the ceiling tiles in an intensive care unit to tiles which cut noise levels resulted in shorter hospital stays and improved well-being for staff and patients.
Two researchers with time on their hands measured how many times NBA team members touched each other during the 2008-2009 season. Those teams with more touchy-feely incidences scored higher.
This may not come as a surprise: Beautiful women chess players who sat opposite males in the same game caused the males to take riskier strategies even when it didn’t help their game, so says a University of Stockholm paper.
“I think, therefore I am,” was proposed by Descartes 1637. Now psychologists are suggesting that our thoughts and actions are influenced by not just our brains but our environment.
Could you tell I wrote this while wearing my lab coat? Dress for success, dress smart!