Hey Professor!

Amy Cuddy posture
Courtesy of Amy Cuddy

Assistant Professor Amy Cuddy of HBS has recently done research that links good posture to hormones that simulate confidence.

Hey HBS Professor Amy J. C. Cuddy: Your research shows that body positioning directly influences hormones that affect feelings of power. How can Harvard students increase their sense of empowerment before a big midterm?

Don’t walk into a test after you’re crouching over your laptop studying. Don’t walk right in after you’re in that contractive pose, which is sort of the posture that we take on when we’re studying. Get up. It’s not just movement—I’m saying literally make yourself bigger. Swing your arms around, stretch your arms out. Spread your legs. Put your feet up on the table. Do these expansive things before you go into the classroom to take the test. And, likewise, certainly it also helps to be doing it while you’re in the room.