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How You Can Manipulate Yourself Using Clothing

by Helena Spydell

It is common knowledge that fashion and personality go hand in hand. The way one dresses can show a lot about them - who their friends are, their beliefs, or where they are from, to name a few. Thus, it is easy to imagine how fashion can impact the way the world perceives you. People dress up for interviews, but they may dress a different way when they are hanging out with friends or going out to dinner, because they want the people they are interacting with to respond to them in different ways during these contrasting scenarios. When an individual is going through a major change in their life, they may feel motivated to wear a different style of clothing, just so they can feel different. Anyone who has experimented with this can attest to the fact that just by changing your clothes, you can manipulate the way you are feeling. In fact, the way that a person dresses doesn’t just represent who they are - it can also unintentionally change their brain, if only for a short period of time.

Clothing doesn’t only affect how others view us. It can also alter how we think of ourselves, and therefore, the way that we act. Researchers at Northwestern University were curious about this notion, so they decided to put it to the test. People generally associate lab coats, or doctor’s coats, with intelligence. When the researchers had individuals wear doctor’s coats while performing attention-related tasks, they did exponentially better than when they shed the coats. The researchers contributed the phenomena to how an article of clothing can cause one to experience a temporary shift in identity, whether good, or bad.

The next time you get a bad grade on a test, think back to what you were wearing that day. You can use the way you dress to your advantage - if you want to be more creative, then wear something an artist would choose in the morning. Or, of course, if you want to be intelligent, wear clothes that reflect that - go for an outfit that you feel a Harvard student would wear. Essentially, the options are endless. If you want to feel or do something a certain way, your choice of clothing can be the answer.


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