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:

Talent is a gift, but character is a choice

There is a great story about a millionaire who asked a builder to construct a house. He showed him the blueprints, and then gave him a huge amount of money. The millionaire told the builder, “You probably won’t need all this money, nut I want you yo have plenty to build a solid house. When you are finished, you can keep whatever money you have left over.”
The builder smiled. Inside he thought, “I can build a house for a fraction of this money. Then I can pocket most of the money for myself!” So he did, he took all kind of shortcuts. When he was finished, he knew that the house wasn’t solid, but at least it looked good, and he has lots of money left over. He returned to millionaire and said, “Here’s the key to the house.” In a moment, the millionaire smiled and responded, “Oh, I forgot to tell you, ….the house is yours.”

Talent is a gift, but character is a choice. If you want it, you must develop it. Here is how to become a talent-plus person in the area of character:

  1. Don’t give up or give in to adversity. Character cannot be developed in ease and comfort.
  2. Always do the right thing.
    1. Cowardice asks the question: Is it safe?
    2. Consensus asks the question: Is it popular?
    3. Character asks the question: Is it right?
  3. Take control of your life. Developing character is your personal responsibility.

While your circumstances are beyond your control, your character is not. Character, more
than anything else, will make you a talent-plus person.

An old proverb says, “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” Obviously, our gifts and talents can get us somewhere, but our character will keep us there.