Size or openness: expansive but closed body posture increases submissive behavior

Olga Białobrzeska , Michał Parzuchowski


Expansive body posture is the most commonly studied and widely described in psychological literature. For many years, expansive posture was universally identified as a pose of power, but more recent research has revealed that the link between expansive posture and power may be moderated by gender, culture or even contextual cues. Our findings show that with little variation added to expansive posture it does not necessarily lead to the sense of power, and may actually trigger the opposite effect: a feeling of submissiveness. In three studies, persons assuming their body in a standing-at-attention posture were perceived as being more obedient (Experiment 1), thus participants who expanded their body in a standing-at-attention manner (although actually doing a non-obedient unrelated task) displayed greater compliance to requests (Experiment 2) and declared greater submissiveness toward social norms (Experiment 3). We discuss how the cultural and interpersonal context imprinted in specific body posture can modify the feedback of innate and universal body states.
Author Olga Białobrzeska (Wydział Psychologii)
Olga Białobrzeska,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Michał Parzuchowski (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Michał Parzuchowski,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
Journal seriesPolish Psychological Bulletin, ISSN 0079-2993, e-ISSN 1641-7844, (B 15 pkt)
Issue year2016
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in English embodiment; expansive posture; submissiveness; social distance
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
Languageen angielski
Parzuchowski_size_2016_oświadczenie.jpg 402.55 KB
Parzuchowski_size_2016.jpg 976.67 KB
oswiadczenie_OBialobrzeska.pdf 54.76 KB
Score (nominal)15
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 0.251
Citation count*11 (2021-02-24)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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