Enclothed Cognition: Dress Like You Mean It

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society,” Mark Twain.

Clothes have power, they affect people around you and affect yourself. They also enable you to become who you want.

There is even a term called Enclothed cognition to describe this phenomenon (“describing the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes”).

In 2012, Professor Adam D. Galinsky and Hajo Adam wanted to see if there was a connection between how we dress and how we perform. In one of the experiments they ran, students who wore a doctor’s white coat to perform different tasks made half as many errors as students who wore regular clothes. That’s right: Half. As. Many. Errors. Let that sink in.

Students who dressed like doctors were less likely to make an error—even though the tasks assigned in the study had nothing to do with medicine.

Personally, I find that pretty amazing.

Think about it: a great outfit can make you feel fantastic ! Just as much as it can make you feel terrible ! And how uncomfortable it is when the outfit isn’t right.

For the next week, dress up a little nicer than usual. Shave (if that’s something you do) twice as often. Comb your hair. Even if you work from home and nobody knows what you’re wearing.

Try it, and then take a moment to notice how you feel, and if it affected the quality of your work.

Interesting reads:

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