How a doctor’s white coat makes you “smarter” (clothes and self perception)

If you wear a white coat that you believe belongs to a doctor, your ability to pay attention increases sharply. But if you wear the same white coat believing it belongs to a painter, you will show no such improvement. So scientists report after studying a phenomenon they call enclothed cognition: the effects of clothing on cognitive processes.

The findings, on the Web site of The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, are a twist on a growing scientific field called embodied cognition. We think not just with our brains but with our bodies, Dr. Galinsky said, and our thought processes are based on physical experiences that set off associated abstract concepts. Now it appears that those experiences include the clothes we wear.

“I love the idea of trying to figure out why, when we put on certain clothes, we might more readily take on a role and how that might affect our basic abilities,” said Joshua I. Davis, an assistant professor of psychology at Barnard College and expert on embodied cognition who was not involved with the study. This study does not fully explain how this comes about, he said, but it does suggest that it will be worth exploring various ideas.

As I said before, there was always a reason behind KYM’s white lab coats that went beyond mere costume.

via Slavin

See also: Effects of potential partners’ costume and physical attractiveness on sexuality and partner selection.

161 notes

  1. enki2 reblogged this from ffa23a
  2. niaiserie reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  3. buffalotuesdays reblogged this from teachingliteracy and added:
    knew it
  4. villiane reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  5. kneeaireesee reblogged this from kenyatta and added:
    I need a white coat..
  6. jpflintoff reblogged this from kenyatta and added:
    Having become very interested recently in the psychology of acting/performance, I find this utterly fascinating.
  7. strawberrysummer reblogged this from teachingliteracy
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  14. allacharade reblogged this from teachingliteracy and added:
    Balance this intel with the study that shows you do better on tests if you dress in what you think is attractive or...
  15. bubblygranolachick reblogged this from teachingliteracy
  16. reallydumbdesign reblogged this from teachingliteracy and added:
    This explains so much.
  17. greenattorney reblogged this from somepursuehappiness and added:
    I need to find a doctor’s lab coat - stat!
  18. mrskaaay reblogged this from teachingliteracy and added:
    Showing this to my students every time they ask why there is a dress code.
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