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May 01, 2018



What evidence is there that those with conservative leanings are particularly susceptible to this compared to other humans? Not everyone who fell for Cuddy's power posing was a conservative. It was a widely shared TED talk. It had 47 million views.

There are other areas in the replication crisis and the application of other scientific findings that may be more appealing to left leaning individuals. The mis-use of implicit bias (not quite a replication crisis item, but over-sold in real world application) is one such example, which I would guess is more associated with the left. https://www.thecut.com/2017/01/psychologys-racism-measuring-tool-isnt-up-to-the-job.html

Steven Clarke

"When we see an interesting claim such as Cuddy’s we must ask (at least) two questions: what other evidence do we have for it? And: what mechanisms might produce such an effect?"

A more important question might be what evidence do we have against it?

This seems to be the question you have answered later in the post.


@Anthony - I'm not saying Tories are generally more susceptible to non-replicated research than others. It's just that in this particular case they seem to have fallen for it more than Labour.
@ Steven - you're right. That sentence was ill-phrased. I should have said "what other evidence, for and against, do we have?"


How sensitive was Cuddy’s original research to the consequences of what is (obviously ) the very real possibility of someone’s ending up just looking camp?



There are 47 million views of that TED Talk by Cuddy. This became a cultural thing, that people picked up on, and no doubt some charlatans have used in some leadership "training".

You say "This alone should have alerted Tories to a lack of external validity in that paper." The idea that any of them has come any where near the paper is amusing. And that applies to almost any politician in any party, all of whom will be subject to magical thinking on something or other.

In fact, this post is a perfect example of the confirmation bias we see in tribal politics itself.

None of them read the paper


I think it's true - it's just that they're not doing it right.


According to the BBC a photographer asked him to take a move to one side during the photo call and he was caught by a pap mid move, so it seems this "power pose" may not have been all it's cracked up to be!

Dave Timoney

Like MJW, I suspect this was briefly a thing (I think Osborne introduced it to the UK political scene as part of his makeover) that has since become a windup among press photographers.

Whenever I see it, I instinctivley start humming The Monkees theme tune.

Steven Clarke

The Prince Regent, Bertie Wooster... there’s an awful lot of Hugh Laurie playing upper class twits in this post

Ralph Musgrave

If power posing is not effective, the basic principle behind it is nevertheless valid: to win votes, don’t bother saying anything remotely intelligent. The best ploy is just to repeat the same phrases over and over till you’re blue in the face: e.g. “strong and stable”, “Sieg Heil”, “Allahu Akbar”, “Tory sleaze”, etc.

Hitler, Goering and several other politicians spelled out the importance of mindless repetition. Sticking one’s arm up at a 45 degree angle worked for Hitler. Who knows: pulling one’s pants down and displaying one’s bum might work, and power posing might work too.

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