Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

A. The key concepts discussed in the video were connected with the body language. The speaker touches upon several aspects of the problem: the comparison of animal and human body language; nonverbal behavior; social science and the body language; the role of body language in human interaction; the influence of our mind on the body and vice versa; the role of hormones (testosterone and cortisone); the effects of body language in a particular life situation. Amy Cuddy, an American social psychologist, who studies the way people interfere with each other dwells on the problems of body language. The speaker points out that people are very often fascinated about their body language and are interested in the body language of others.

It can occur to us without paying much attention to the gestures, mimics, positions of the body parts, etc. It happens at the semi-conscious level. Nonverbal behavior is considered to be a kind of language with its signs and codes. When we investigate communication we mean interaction. There can be a lot of things our body language expresses, such as power or lack of power, doubt or confidence.

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Social scientists spent much time observing the expressions of body language and judgments, based on them. Amy Cuddy provides us with samples of behavior and gives reasonable pieces of advice about how to be powerful or at least to feel this way. She proposes everyday exercising to improveourselves, for example the so-called “High-Power Poses” which help us to improve the way we behave in public. Amy Cuddy announces that MBA students really exhibit the full range of nonverbals. When people feel alphas they come into the classroom and want to occupy space, they sit down openly. It often depends on gender: women are more likely to wrap themselves as they feel chronically less powerful than men.

B. The evidence provided to support the main thesis of the video was based on the few examples. First of all, the speaker provides us with the results of her own investigations and the research works of other social scientists. One of them is Jessica Tracy.Amy Cuddy gives a simple example connected with handshaking.

A handshake can speak a lot about people, their emotions and feelings at a particular spot of time. Barack Obama shakes the hand of a security officer entering the door while the Prime Minister is confused and doesn’t do that. These judgments sometimes have meaningful life outcomes. People are also greatly influenced by their body language communication. Nonverbal expressions of power and dominance are particular to those who occupy the corresponding positions in government. In animal kingdom High-Power Poses are of expanding matter: stretching out, expanding, etc.

This is true about the animall kingdom and it is not limited to the primates. And humans do the same thing. They are doing that at the moment when they are powerful or just have powerful position of life. Jessica Tracy has studied the body expression which is known as “pride”. She showed that people who are blind or shortsighted do expand and open their arms in the air when they win a physical competition. So if they achieve the finish line and they win, they stretch their arms into the V position.

What do we do if we feel powerless? Amy Cuddy states that we close up, wrap ourselves up and make ourselves small. Again the animals and human do the same thing. We don’t mirror a powerful person; we do the opposite of him/her when we talk to someone powerful.C. This video is applied to our course because it touches upon the theme of social psychology. The language of the body is one of the basic, which is included in this topic and on the other hand, it is of great importance at the present state of development of the social psychology.

Our nonverbals speak how other people think and feel about us. When you want to be powerful, simply chose the corresponding position and feel powerful. Amy says that our minds change our bodies and our bodies change our minds. Powerful people tend to be more confident and optimistic. They also tend to be able to think abstractly.