Our Fashion, Our Selves

Do clothes affect how we think?

Photo: Ahman Ardity. Source: Pixabay

A recent study supports this notion. It has long been known that what goes on with your body affects how your mind works. If we force ourselves to smile, we get jokes more easily; if we flex our muscles, we brace ourselves to resist temptation or tackle a difficult task. Stretching and relaxing our bodies relaxes our thinking.

Having a mind-body link is one thing; but it looks like there’s a mind-clothes link, as well. Some researchers tested the effect of wearing a white lab coat on people’s powers of observation. They found that students who put on the classic, white lab coats made about half as many errors as subjects who didn’t put them on. It didn’t work if the subjects thought the white coat was a painter’s smock, or if they just touched it or folded it. They had to think the coats were the classic garb of a scientist and then wear them.

The study indicates that clothes are more than an extension of our bodies. They’re part of our persona. That $1000 Armani suit doesn’t just look sharp – it also can help you schmooze with a crowd of deal-makers. Blue jeans aren’t just comfortable and practical, they could facilitate creative thoughts and down-in-the-dirt problem-solving. Embodied cognition suggests that our intelligence is about the interaction between our minds, bodies, and the world. Clothes affect more than how we feel. They seem alter the very way we see the world.

Clothes may not make us who we are, but they do have a powerful effect on our minds.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Charter Trust Company

“The Best Trust Company in New England”

By |2018-04-25T05:52:18+00:00April 25th, 2018|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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