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:

A woman who didn’t want the baby

A worried woman went to her Doctor and said :

‘Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help!

My baby is not even one year old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together.’

So the doctor said: ‘OK, and what do you want me to do?’

She said: ‘I want you to perform an abortion, and I’m counting on your help with this.’

The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady:

‘I think I have a better solution for your problem. It’s less dangerous for you too.’

She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

Then he continued: ‘You see, in order for you not to have to take care of two babies at the same time, let’s kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we’re going to kill one of them, it doesn’t matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.

The lady was horrified and said: ‘No doctor! How terrible! It’s a crime to kill a child!

‘I agree’, the doctor replied. ‘But you seemed to be ok with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.

The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that’s already been born and one that’s still in the womb. The crime is the same!