People gamble more after striking ‘power’ poses

TAGs: power pose, Psychological Science, testosterone

Striking-Power-PosesDon’t be surprised if some online casino strikes a deal to use Madonna’s Vogue in its future marketing scheme. Seems the song’s “strike a pose” lyrical refrain could encourage players to take greater risks with their online bets.

A study in Psychological Science asked 42 participants to hold a variety of poses for two minutes each. Some were so-called ‘low-power’ poses, in which limbs were contracted and held close to the body, i.e. sitting with knees together and hands in lap, or standing with legs crossed and arms wrapped around torso. ‘High-power’ poses were more like Superman standing with feet apart and hands on hips, or the businessman sitting with his feet on his desk and hands behind his head.

Post-pose saliva tests revealed that the high-power poses boosted the subjects’ testosterone levels by 19% and decreased the stress hormone cortisol by 25%. The low-power poses resulted in a 10% drop in testosterone and a 17% increase in cortisol. Apparently, by occupying more physical space, the high-power poses produce a greater sense of confidence and command.

The subjects were also given a post-pose test in which they were provided with $2 that they could either keep or roll a die for double-or-nothing. The high-power posers were one and a half times more likely to take the chance and roll the die.

Of course, this may be interesting from a theoretical perspective, but after all, it’s not likely that an online gambling company could figure out a way to get its customers to sit or stand a certain way every time they log on, thereby elevating their testoerone levels and upping their risk tolerance. Guess we’ll have to resort to Plan B – offering free anabolic steroids in lieu of deposit bonuses.


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