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Can striking a superhero pose actually increase your confidence?

"One common example is the victory pose with outstretched arms which, according to several studies, is meant to increase self-confidence.

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Young boy super hero portrait in white background with hard light. Mixed race boy in blue shirt, jean, mask, cape. Ready to fight pose.
(Photo by Perfect Angle Images via Shutterstock)

By Jim Leffman via SWNS

Striking a pose like Superman or Wonder Woman does actually make you feel more confident, a new study claimed.

But for men, it won't boost levels of hormones such as testosterone, the researchers concluded.

The team from Germany crunched data from 130 studies involving more than 10,000 people.

Professor Astrid Schütz from the University of Bamberg said: "A dominant pose can, for example, make you feel more self-confident.

"However the findings on the physiological effects of power posing are not robust and have not been replicated by independent research groups."

She added: "We found a connection between an upright posture and power posing and a more positive self-perception.

"On the other hand, the assertion that certain poses can boost the production of physiological effects, for example hormones, such as testosterone and cortisol, which had been claimed in previous research, was not supported."

Previous research had only been done in small studies, so the team decided to do a meta-analysis of many studies.

Psychologist and doctoral student Robert Körner from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the University of Bamberg said: "The research of power posing deals with the extent to which very bold poses can influence a person’s feelings and self-worth.

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"One common example is the victory pose with outstretched arms which, according to several studies, is meant to increase self-confidence.

"However, many of these studies are inconclusive and were conducted with small samples. Moreover, studies sometimes have contradictory results.

"So complex statistical methods were used to re-assess the data on nearly 10,000 people.

"We wanted to find out whether posture influences a person’s self-perception, behavior and hormone levels."

He added: "The differences between males and females and across different age groups were nonsignificant."

The study is published in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

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