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Adopting a dominant pose can improve self-confidence in children and help them feel better at school

Adopting a dominant pose like sitting straight up can improve self-confidence in children and help them feel better at school, a study has concluded.

Researchers from Germany had 108 fourth-grade students complete psychological tests after either adopting power poses or less dominant and less assured bearings.

The team found that power poses temporarily boosted the kids' moods and self-esteems in comparison to those who had adopted the more shrinking stances.

Furthermore, the tests indicated that the benefits of the confident poises were significantly pronounced when relating to questions around attending school.

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Adopting a dominant pose — such as this sitting power pose, pictured — can improve self-confidence in children and help them feel better at school, a study concluded (stock image)

'Body language is not just about expressing feelings, it can also shape how a person feels,' explained psychologist Robert Körner of Germany's Martin Luther University — who examined the effects of so-called 'power posing' on feelings and self-esteem.

'Power posing is the nonverbal expression of power. It involves making very bold gestures and changes in body posture," he added. 

Although previous studies have examined the potential of power posing, most have focused on its use by adults — whereas Mr Körner and colleagues examined how it might potentially help children to feel more confident.

'Children from the age of five are able to recognise and interpret the body posture of others,' Mr Körner added. 

In their study, the team split 108 fourth graders — children at around the age of ten — into two groups, both of whom undertook a series of psychological tests.

Before the tests, however, one group was asked to assume two open and expansive postures for a minute — while the other children posed with their arms folded in front of them and their heads down.

The researchers found that the children who had assumed the open — 'power' — postures before the tests reported feeling better and have a higher level of self esteem than the member of the other group.

Researchers from Germany had 108 fourth-grade students complete psychological tests after either adopting power poses (as pictured) or less dominant and less assured bearings

The team found that power poses temporarily boosted the kids' moods and self-esteems in comparison to those who had adopted the more shrinking stances (as pictured)

Furthermore, the effects of the power posing were seen to be especially significant when it came to answering questions that concerned school. 

'Here, power posing had the strongest effect on the children's self-esteem,' Mr Körner concluded. 

'Teachers could try and see whether this method helps their students.'

However, the researchers cautioned that expectations over the potential applications of the technique should be tempered — as the effects seen in the study were only manifest in the short-term. 

Furthermore, the team noted that serious problems or mental illnesses must be treated by trained professionals.

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