Translator: Visar Hadri Reviewer: Helena Bedalli I want to start by showing you a strategy and the only thing I ask you is this: to change your attitude in two minutes. But before I get started, I ask you make an assessment of your body. So how many of you gather on your own? Maybe bend over, put your feet cross. Keep your hands that way. Sometimes we open up a lot. (Laughter) I see you. (Laughter) I want to focus on what you are doing right now. We’ll get back to that in a little bit, and I hope you master this technique a bit because it can significantly change their lives, So we are fascinated with body language, and we are especially interested in the body language of others.
You know, we’re interested in …. – (Laughter) — a weird conversation or a smile a scornful look or a wink, or maybe just a handshake. Speaker: Here’s where they arrive at number 10. The lucky policeman has the chance to shake hands with the US presidency Here’s the prime minister – No. (Laughter) (Applause) (Laughter) (Applause) So giving or giving a hand, it can make us talk for weeks and weeks and weeks. Even the BBC and New York TImes. So obviously when we think about nonverbal behavior, or body language – which we call nonverbal scientists – it’s a language, it makes us think about communication. When we think about communication, we think of conversations. What is your body language communicating to me? What am I communicating to you? There are several reasons to look at things from this perspective. Social scientists have spent a lot of time looking at the effects of our body language, or that of other people, as the basis for making judgments.
And we really judge based on body language. And these judgments can predict valuable life outcomes how we hire or promote, or invite to a meeting. For example Nalini Ambady, researcher at Tuft University, shows when people watch 30-second silent clips the real interactions between the doctor and the patient, their judgment on the doctor’s decency, predicts whether or not that doctor will be sued. So it’s not that much whether or not he was a capable doctor, but do we like that person and how did he interact? Even more dramatic, Alex Todorov in Princeton says judgments on politicians’ faces in just one second they predict 70% of the results of the races for the US Senate, and even, talk about the virtual network characters used in online negotiation make it possible for you to get more value out of that negotiation. If you misuse them, not a good idea. Or not? So when we think of nonverbal, we think of how we judge others, how others judge us, and what the conclusions are. We tend to forget, the other audience too which is influenced by our nonverbal, and that is itself. We are also influenced by our non-verbal, our thoughts, feelings and physiology.
What nonverbal am I talking about? I’m a social psychologist. I study prejudice, and teach in a competitive business school, so I knew I would be interested in dynamic power. I especially began to take an interest in nonverbal expressions of power and dominance. And what are the non-verbal expressions of power and dominance? Well, here they are. In the animal kingdom, it represents expansion. So to make himself bigger, he reaches out his hands, takes up more space, so in principle. The essence is to open up. And this is true throughout the animal kingdom. It doesn’t just happen to animals. People do the same thing. (Laughter) So people do that when they have almost constant power, and also when they feel powerful at some point. And that’s especially interesting because it really tells us how universal and old these expressions of power are. This expression, known as pride, studied by Jessica Tracy. It shows that people who were born with normal eyesight and those who were born blind do so when they win in a physical race. When they cross the finish line and win, though they have not seen such an expression They do it.
So hands up and chin up too. But when are we powerless? We do the opposite. We are narrowing. We wrap in ourselves. We make ourselves smaller. We don’t want to clash with the person next to us. Still animals and humans do the same thing. Here’s what happens when high and low power meet. So what do we do when it comes to power is that we complement the nonverbal communication of others. If someone behaves more powerfully toward us, we tend to shrink. We don’t become like them. We do the opposite of those. So, I observe a behavior in the classroom, and what do I notice? I note that MBA students expose all nonverbal power.
We have people who look like “Alphas” cartoons walking into the room, they go right in the middle of the room before classes start, they really want to own space. When they sit down, they somehow open up. They raise their hands like that. There are other people who are collapsing when they entered the classroom. When they enter, something is noticed. It is noticed on their faces, and their bodies, and they sit in chairs, and they shrink, and they do so when raising their hand. I notice a few things from this. The first, and it’s not unexpected.
This is likely related to gender. So women tend to do this more than men. Women constantly feel less powerful than men, so this is not surprising. But something else I’ve noticed is that this seems to be related to the level as well of student participation, and how they participated. And this is very important in an MBA class because participation is counted as half the grade. Thus, business schools have had difficulties with gender differences We have equally qualified men and women and we have these differences in grades, and this in part seems to be from the difference in participation. And I started thinking, these people who come and participate here. Can we make people pretend and would this result in greater participation? So my colleague Dana Carney, who’s in Berkeley, and I wanted to know, can we pretend to do it? For example, can we do this for a while and really have a change in behavior to look more powerful? So we know our nonverbal orientates other people how to think and feel for us.
But our question was. does our nonverbal orient us in the way we feel and think about ourselves? There is some evidence that this is true. So, for example, we smile when we feel happy, but also, when we are forced to smile holding a pen in his mouth thus makes us feel happy. So this is influenced by two directions. Power is also influenced by two directions. So when you feel powerful usually do this, but it is possible, since you pretend to be powerful you are likely to really feel like it. So the second question really was, since the mind changes the body, is it true that the body changes its mind? And when I say mind, in the case of power, what am I talking about? I’m talking about thoughts and feelings and their psychology, that in my case, it’s the hormones.
I look at the hormones. So what do the minds of the powerful, and the powerless look like? Powerful people are usually, not surprisingly, safer and more confident, more optimistic. They believe they will win even in gambling. They also tend to think abstract things. So there are many differences. They take more risks. There are many differences between powerful and powerless people. There are also psychological differences on the two major hormones; testosterone which is the dominant hormone, and cortisol, which is the stress hormone. We discover high-powered alpha males in the primacy hierarchy have high levels of testosterone and low cortisol, and effective and powerful leaders also have the same hormonal levels. What does this mean? When we think about power, we only think about testosterone, because this was related to dominance.
But really, the power is over how we respond to stress. Would you like a powerful leader who is dominant? with high but stressful testosterone levels? Surely not, right? You want a person who is powerful, secure and dominant, but not too stressed out, a person who gets things laid out. So we know in primal hiearkits, if a leader is needed, if an individual suddenly takes the lead, within days, that individual’s testosterone rises markedly and his cortisol drops significantly. Thus, we have evidence that the body builds mind, at least at face level, and also this role-shifting shapes the mind. So what happens is you switch roles, what if you do this at a minimal level, like a little manipulation, or a little inversion? “For two minutes” you say, “I want to stay like this, and it will make you feel more powerful.
” This is what we did. We decided to take people to the lab and do an experiment, and these people did, for two minutes, positions of power or positions of power, and I’ll show you these five positions, even though they only made two. Here is one. Some more. This is known as “Wonder Woman” in the media. Here are some more. So you can be standing or sitting. And here are the low-power positions. So you get stuck in it. This is an example. When you touch your neck, you are actually protecting yourself. So here’s what happens. They come, and they are divided into two groups, for two minutes we say “You have to do this or that” They do not look at the positions in the picture.
We do not want to impose the concept of power. We want them to feel powerful. So for two minutes they do it. We then ask, “How powerful do you feel?” and then give them an opportunity to play godfather, and we get the saliva sample. This is the whole experiment. And that’s what we found. Risk tolerance, which is in the godfather’s game, we found that in the position of high power, 86 percent of you will play gambling. When you have the position of low power, only 60 percent, and that’s a pretty big difference.
Here’s what we found on testosterone. From where they come from, people with power experience about 20 percent growth, and people with low power experience a 10% reduction. So two minutes, and you have these changes. Here’s what happens with cortisol. People with high power experience 25% reduction, and people with low power experience 15% growth. So, two minutes lead to these hormonal changes that configure your brain to be categorical, confident and comfortable, or stress responders and the feeling of being locked up. And we all had that feeling, didn’t we? Nonverbal shows how we feel about ourselves, so it is not only others but also ourselves. Also, our body changes our mind. But the next question is, can the authoritative position for a few minutes really change your life in meaningful ways? It’s a small task, it’s just a few minutes.
When can you apply this? Questions to which we have certainly attached importance. We think it should be used in evaluative situations, as in social threat situations. Where do you value your peers? For teens it is the lunch table. For some people it is speaking at a school meeting, it could be a presentation or a lecture like this or a job interview. We decided that where people find themselves more is the job interview. We published these findings, and the media started paying close attention, and they say, okay, that should be done when you go to a job interview, right? (Laughter) You know, we were terrified, and we said, Oh no, no, that’s not what we thought.
For many reasons, no, don’t do that. I repeat, this is not when you talk to others. This is done when you speak to yourself. What do you do before the job interview? You do this. You’re sitting. Look at your Iphone– or Android, without wanting to exclude anyone. You look at your notes, you bend, make yourself small, when in fact what you should be doing is probably this, as in the bathroom. Or not? Find two minutes.
So this is what we want to test. Good? So we bring people to the lab, and they hold positions of power or vice versa, and put them in a very stressful job interview. It takes 5 minutes. They are being recorded. They are also being tried, and judges are trained not to react, so they look like that. Imagine if this person was interviewing you? So for 5 minutes, nothing, and it’s worse than being interrupted. People hate that. Marianne LaFrance has been studying this. So this nails you cortisol. So this is the invertebrate we put them in, because we wanted to see what happens. Then we put four coders to look at the recordings.
They do not know our hypotheses. They know nothing. They don’t know who has been in what position, and they end up looking at the recordings and say, “We want to hire these people” all those who have held the position of high power. “We don’t want to hire these people. We also value these people more positively. ” But what drives them? It is not the content of speech. It is the presence that they bring to speech. Because we evaluate them based on several factors related to competence, such as structuring in speech? How good is it? Their qualifications? No effect on these things. Here’s what affects you. These things. People point out their true selves. They bring themselves. They bring their ideas, but like themselves, with no extra surplus. So this drives or aids the effect. So when I tell people about it, that our bodies change our minds, and our minds our behavior, I brought the result, they say, “It looks like a fake, ‘Or not? And I said, do it until you get it. It’s not me. I don’t want to go out there and feel like a cheater.
I don’t want to feel cheating. I don’t want to go there just to realize that I don’t belong there. And that really connected with me, because I want to tell you a little story about being deceitful of yourself and feeling that I do not belong to this place. When I was 19, I had a major car accident, I was hunted by the car, and rotated several times. I was thrown out of the car. And I woke up in a head injury rehab area, and I was pulled out of college, and I learned that my IQ had gone down by two standard deviations which was traumatic.
I knew my IQ because I was identified with being smart. and I was called a gifted kid. I tried to go back to college. I was told, “You’re not going to finish college. There are other things for you to do, but it won’t work for you. ” I had a really hard time, I have to say, to get your identity, that to me was being wise, to take this from you, there is nothing that makes you more powerless. So I felt powerless. I worked and I worked, and I was lucky, and I worked, and I got lucky, and I worked. Eventually, I graduated from college. It took me 4 years more than my colleagues, and convinced someone, my advisory angel Susan Fiske, to pick me up, and I went to Princeton, and I felt like, I shouldn’t be in this place.
I’m a fraudster. The night before my speech, and the annual speech at Priceton lasts 20 minutes before 20 people. This is all. I was scared I would be discovered one day and I called him and said, “I give up.” She told me, “You’re not going to give up, for I bet on you, and you will stay. You will stay, and here’s what you will do. You will become a fake. You will make every speech you are required to make. You will do and do and do, even if you are scared and just stuck and experiencing bad experience, until you have that moment that you say, “Oh my god, I’m doing it.
As if, I’m done with that. Really I’m doing that. ” And that’s what I did. five years in master studies, a few years, and you know, I’m in Northwestern I settled on Harvard, I’m at Harvard, for a long time I thought “I shouldn’t be here.” And, at the end of my first year at Harvard, a student who had never spoken in class, that I had said “You need to talk” came to my office.
I really didn’t know him. She came overwhelmed and said, “I shouldn’t be here.” And that was a moment for me. Because two things happened. The first was that I realized, oh god, I don’t feel like that anymore, I don’t feel that way anymore because she feels and I understand that feeling, She needs the class As if she could cheat until she is done. And I said, “Yes you are! You’re supposed to be here! And tomorrow you will be fake, you’re going to make yourself powerful, and you know– (Applause) And you’ll go to class, and you’ll make the best comment ever. ” And you know? She gave the best comment ever, and people came back like, nor did I notice him sitting there. (Laughter) It returns after a few months, and I realized she wasn’t fake, but he really did. So it had changed. So I want to tell you, don’t be fake until you succeed.
Be fake until you become what you wanted. Be fake until you adopt it. The last thing I want to tell you is this. Small changes lead to big changes. That’s two minutes. Two minutes, two minutes, two minutes. So to get yourself in a stressful situation, do this for two minutes, in the elevator, in the bathroom, on the table, behind the door. This is what you want to do. Make your brain cope with the situation Raise testosterone. Lower your cortisol. Don’t leave the situation regretting Leave the situation feeling like, i know i’m gonna tell who i am.
So I ask you to pose and I ask you to share this science because it is simple. I’m not expressing selfishness with that. (Laughter) Bring it on. Share with people, because the people who can make the most of this are people without access to technology without status and power. Give this one. They can do it in private All it takes is body, privacy and two minutes, and that can change their lives. Thank you. (Applause) .