I always wanted to write about “Enclothed Cognition“.
Enclothed cognition captures the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes
It simply means what your clothes are saying to you, not about you. And how they make you feel. From studies, clothing can actually enhance our psychological states and improve our performance on tasks.
Cognitive psychologists from Northwestern University, Adam Galinksy and Hajo Adam, conducted 3 different studies.
Study 1: Heightened accuracy. Two groups of participants – One group wore white lab coats, while the other wore street clothes. Participants were given a test for selective attention, measuring their abilities to notice incongruities. The group wearing white lab coats made almost half as many errors as the other group.
Study 2: Heightened attention. Three groups of participants – One group wore doctors’ coat, second group wore artistic painters’ coat, and the third group tasked to look at the doctor’s coat laid on the table briefly when they first came in. Both doctor and painter coats were identical. Each group was then tasked to perform 4 visual searches to spot four minor differences as quickly as possible. The group wearing doctors’ coat found more differences than the rest.
Study 3: Sustained attention. Three groups of participants – One group wore what was described as “doctors’ coat”, second group wore what was described as “artistic painters’ coat”, and the third group tasked to look at the “doctor’s coat “laid on the table the entire session. Each group was tasked to write essays about their thoughts on the coats. Then using the same visual search task as Study 2, the group that wore the “doctors’ coat” showed the highest sustained attention.
“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” —Miuccia Prada
Expensive clothes do not make a more person well-dressed. What it means is that if you dress appropriately and smartly, you might perform better in life. Whether it is during work, meeting your clients, going for an interview etc., it is not just about creating the psychological impression other parties have on you, but also firing up the internal motivation within.
Try visualising doing the above in t-shirt and jeans as compared to being dressed up as a high-powered executive. You could probably expect a stark difference in results. I thought the below dresscode for Gentleman and Lady have interesting points to note the next time you commit to one of these such ocassions.