Students wearing a Superman t-shirt or lab coat perform better in tests as it makes them feel stronger and smarter
By Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent from telegraph.co.uk
Students put through mental ability tests and found that those wearing plain t-shirts gained an average of 64 per cent compared with those in Superman t-shirts who scored an average of 72 per cent.
A similar improvement in performance was seen with student wearing white coats.
Professor Karen Pine, from the department of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, said: ”When wearing a Superman t-shirt the students rated themselves as more likeable and superior to other students.
”When asked to estimate how much they could physically lift, those in a Superman t-shirt thought they were stronger than students in a plain t-shirt, or in their own clothing.”
Prof Pine said the results showed that people’s mental processes and perceptions can be primed by clothing, as they unconsciously embody the symbolic meaning of their outer layers.
She said that people in a white coat improved people’s mental agility, as their brain was primed to take on the mental capacities they associated with being a doctor.
Her previous research discovered that women are more likely to wear jeans when they are depressed.
In her new book she reveals that when women are stressed they wear less of their wardrobe, neglecting 90 per cent of it, and the main reason women dress up is not to look attractive but to feel confident.
The results were published in Prof Pine’s new ebook Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of Fashion.