Updated: Mar 6, 2019
It’s Monday, again and your weekend hangover still lingers. You manage to wake up and get dressed, but you lack the energy. What’s the quick fix to this ? Maybe it’s right in your closet. Yes, I’m talking about your clothes!
You may ask, how are clothes ever going to fix that lazy bum? Well, that’s why we are jumping into a rather psychological factor of clothing- the impact of clothing on our behaviour or Enclothed Cognition. Science says that the clothes you wear affect your emotions, mood and behaviour because of the symbolic qualities or meaning the attire may posses. As whimsical as it sounds, it’s absolutely true and there is a study to back up the fact.
In their study about the impact of clothing on one’s behaviour, cognitive psychologists Hajo Adam and Adam Galinksy from Northwestern University they conducted a test where there were 2 groups of people who were given white coats. Group A was asked to wear the white painter’s smock and Group B, the doctor’s lab coat. When they were given a test for sustained attention, Group B who wore the lab coat performed better than Group A. Now funnily enough, the coats which both the groups were the same!
So why was it that Group B performed better? These researchers believe it’s because they were manipulated into thinking that they were wearing a doctor’s coat and the symbolic factor it holds, such as intelligence, scientific thinking and precision influenced them to score higher than Group A whose painter’s smock represented free-spirit and creativity.
Question like the longevity of the change in behaviour due this phenomenon or if it may become habitual that it would make no difference remain unanswered for now and they are on it to find out, according to Dr. Adam and Galinksy.
Now as for the readers, have you ever experienced the difference in your behaviour when your wore certain clothes, such as that time you wore your power suit to the meeting, or that cute PJ at your last girl’s night out? If you haven’t noticed, start today! Though wearing a yellow Bruce Lee suit may not exactly give you supernatural martial art skills to kick some badass on a bad day , it will certain make you feel like him! Go try!