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Change Style to Make Your Mind: Effects of Clothes on Abstract Reasoning

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According to the enclothed cognition perspective the clothes we wear affects our behavioral and psychological processes. This emerging viewpoint on the field of embodied cognition holds that the clothes and their symbolic values can alter mental states, and even enhance high order cognitive functioning. It was hypothesized that wearing a painter's coat would enhance abstract reasoning, measured through performance on a fluid intelligence test. The sample consisted of 129 college students who completed a short form of the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices test (APM), wearing either a painter's coat (painter's-coat), a business suit (business-coat), or their regular clothes (no-coat). The analysis revealed that participants wearing a painter's coat outperformed those in the no-coat condition in a fluid intelligence test. Results indicated that abstract reasoning can be stimulated by wearing clothes that are related with artistic qualities. Future directions should consider a broader perspective of enclothed cognition examining and
Change Style to Make Your Mind: Effects of Clothes on Abstract Reasoning
Marios Andrianos
Deree: The American College of Greece
According to the enclothed cognition perspective the clothes we wear affects our behavioral and
psychological processes. This emerging viewpoint on the field of embodied cognition holds that
the clothes and their symbolic values can alter mental states, and even enhance high order
cognitive functioning. It was hypothesized that wearing a painter’s coat would enhance abstract
reasoning, measured through performance on a fluid intelligence test. The sample consisted of
129 college students who completed a short form of the Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices
test (APM), wearing either a painter’s coat (painter’s-coat), a business suit (business-coat), or
their regular clothes (no-coat). The analysis revealed that participants wearing a painter’s coat
outperformed those in the no-coat condition in a fluid intelligence test. Results indicated that
abstract reasoning can be stimulated by wearing clothes that are related with artistic qualities.
Future directions should consider a broader perspective of enclothed cognition examining and
other constructs related to executive cognitive processes.
Keywords: enclothed cognition, embodied cognition, abstract reasoning, clothing,
painter’s coat.
Change Style to Make Your Mind: Effects of Clothes on Abstract Reasoning
It is rather known that the clothes we wear could influence how other perceive us; but
what about the effects of our clothing style on how we think? According to Adam & Galinsky
(2012) our choice on clothing style exert power not only on others but also on ourselves. A way
of dressing has a particular function and meaning that provides a symbolic value to the specific
choice of cloth, which is directly associated with what the wearer represents as an individual
(Todorović, Toporišič & Cuden, 2014). Except from the prestigious power of their symbolic
value in altering perceptions, clothes have the potential to influence the cognitive and behavioral
processes of the agent. If we accept this assumption, then the question that arise is “how what we
wear affects what we think?”.
Contemporary research in the domain of cognitive psychology is interested in explaining
the relationship between the mind and the physical world. According to Lakoff (2012) the
traditional view of cognition is that the mind produces abstract depictions of the external reality
without any influence of the material body and brain. In contrast to this view, the growing field
of embodied cognition proposes that the mental processes and abstract concepts of the mind are
directly related, or even grounded, to bodily states and the external environment (Hafner, 2013;
Niedenthal, Barsalou, Winkielman, Gruber, & Ric, 2005). As a generic term, cognition refers to
the higher mental processes of the mind, which according to Garcia-Marques & Ferreira (2009)
are derivatives of the sensation and experience of the physical world. Most of the theories on
embodied cognition prevailed by the notion that mental functions are highly depended on the
brain’s modality-specific systems and on actual bodily states (Niedenthal et., al, 2005). A
prominent theoretical framework supporting the perspective of embodiment is that of simulation
theory of cognition proposing that executive cognitive functions are stimulated through
interaction with the physical environment (Hesslow, 2012). According to Hesslow (2012) just
the visualization of an action, or a thought, produces similar sensorimotor activity to that of
which is produced when the bodily action or actual behavior is performed.
Several studies have reported embodiment effects on higher mental processes supporting
that cognitive functioning is a modal-based system interconnected with bodily sensation and
experience. For example, Mussweiler (2006) reported that participants who were induced to
move in a slow manner - that is stereotypic of the elderly people- responded faster in elderly-
stereotypic words in a lexical decision task than participants did in the control group. In a similar
line of research, participants in upright bodily position reported higher self-esteem and reduced
stress levels than those in slumped bodily positions (Nair, Sagar, Sollers, Consedine, &
Broadbent, 2014). Moreover, evidence have been reported that weight affects perception of task
importance (Jostman, Lakens, & Schubert, 2009), and individuals that carry a heavy clipboard
exert more effort on cognitive tasks than those who carry a lightweight one (Kaspar &
Vennekotter, 2015).
Enclothed Cognition
Adam and Galinsky (2012) based on the theoretical and empirical background of
embodied cognition, suggested that as physical experience, so as clothing experience has the
capacity to produce cognitive stimulation. They proposed the term enclothed cognition and
argued that clothing elicit abstract concepts in the mind of the wearer that are particularly
associated with the symbolic meaning of the cloth. This symbolic meaning along with the actual
physical experience of wearing the cloth produce such a cognitive stimulation (Adam &
Galinsky, 2012; Stockum & DeCaro, 2014). Adam & Galinsky (2012) in their study reported
that participants who wear a lab coat outperformed participants who wear their regular clothes in
a selective attention task. In their subsequent experiments founded that performance in sustained
attention was increased only when a coat was both associated with a doctor and worn by the
participant (Adam & Galinsky 2012). Such evidences suggest that enclothed cognition derives
from the actual physical experience of wearing a particular cloth along with its given symbolic
Additional experimental research on the domain of cognitive psychology has yielded
results that support this assumption. Stockum & DeCaro (2014) reported that wearing a lab coat
facilitates controlled attention during an insight problem solving task. Participant wearing a lab
coat have increased controlled attention during a matchstick arithmetic problem compared to
participants wearing their regular clothes, with wearing the lab coat to affect individual’s
working memory capacity (Stockum & DeCaro, 2014). In a similar vein, wearing a tunic which
is associated with a nurse scrub promotes empathetic and prosocial behavior (López-Pérez,
Ambrona, Wilson, & Khalil, 2016). López-Pérez et. al (2016) reported that empathetic and
helping response is enhanced only in participants that had the physical experience of wearing the
tuning and have also identified it with its symbolic meaning; whereas participants that have been
exposed only to one of the two conditions did not elicited such a behavior. Moreover, in a series
of five experiments it has been reported that formal clothing is associated with improved abstract
processing in action identification and category inclusiveness tasks, with the effect being
directed by emotional arousal and socioeconomic status (Slepian, Ferber, Gold, & Rutchick,
Current Study
In spite of the substantial amount of research on embodied cognition, there is a paucity of
literature in examining how clothes are associated with mental functioning. This study aimed to
contribute to the literature of enclothed cognition by providing supplementary evidence in the
notion that clothing experience affects one’s state of mind. Our direction in the context of
enclothed cognition was to examine the effect of wearing a painter’s coat on abstract thinking.
Grounded on the aforementioned theoretical framework and empirical findings, it was
assumed that wearing a painter’s coat enhances abstract reasoning, measured through
performance on a fluid intelligence task. In particular, it was hypothesized that individuals in a
painter’s coat would display increased abstract reasoning compared to individuals wearing their
regular clothes. Additionally, a business suit was also used in order to address a more integrated
application of the symbolic meaning of clothing.
The sample of the study was 129 undergraduate college students (n= 59 Males, 70
Females) from the American college of Greece. All participant were above 18 years old with an
age range from 18 to 35 (M= 21.61, SD= 2.91), and the department allocation were 53.5%
students from the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 8.5% from the Frances Rich School
of Fine and Performing Art, and 35.7% from the School of Business. From the total sample
(N=129) only 100 participants reported their cumulative index grade (M= 3.18, SD=.55). The
non-probability convenience sample was recruited inside the campus in weekdays, from 10:00am
to 16:00pm, during a period of three weeks. No compensation was given to subjects for their
A short online survey (see Appendix A) was developed to affirm public’s opinion on
which cognitive type of thinking is more likely associated with a painter’s coat. One hundred and
two individuals (56% females, 54% between the age of 22-26) were recruited through social
media and responded to questions related with clothing and cognitive styles. The mini survey
revealed that 65% of the sample believed that artists are associated with abstract thinking; 63%
associated a painter’s coat with thinking in unorthodox ways; and 73% reported that those
wearing a painter’s coat are perceived as more creative/innovative.
A 12-item short form of the Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices Test (APM; Raven
et al., 1985) developed and validated by Arthur & Day (1994) was adopted to measure abstract
processing (see Appendix B). A computerized version of the test was employed in the present
study. The APM short form is a power test consisting of non-verbal group tasks, which its
administration, format and scoring are similar to that of the APM long form. Scores on the APM
short form were computed by obtaining the sum of the raw scores, with higher scores indicating
higher fluid intelligence. In each test item, the subject is asked to identify the missing element
that completes a pattern resembling a geometric visual design. The average completion time of
the APM short form is 15 minutes (SD= 4.18) as reported by Arthur & Day (1994) based on the
40-60 minutes long form APM (36 items). The APM short form displayed satisfactory internal
consistency with a Cronbach alpha of .69, and a test-retest reliability estimate of .75 (Arthur &
Day, 1994). Satisfactory psychometric properties have been reported regarding the construct
validity of the test with a correlation of .66 between the independent assessment of the APM
short form and the APM standard form (Arthur & Day, 1994). Arthur & Day (1994) reported that
the APM short-form displayed similar progressive difficulty structure to that of the long form.
Additionally, a 4-item short form APM practice test from the original 12-Item APM long
form practice test was employed in this study. Items were selected following a random
progressive difficulty criterion, and the test was used as a practice phase for the participants.
A completely between-subjects experimental design was followed. The independent
variable, clothing type, was measured in three levels; painter’s coat, business coat, and no-coat.
The dependent variable, abstract reasoning, was measured by participants’ number of correct
answers on the APM short form test.3
The present study received ethical approval from the ad hoc Ethics Committee of the
American college of Greece. The recruitment of the participants and the administration of
procedure were carried out interchangeably by two experimenters who were of different gender.
Participants who agreed to participate in the study were brought to the psychology laboratories
and randomly assigned to a condition. At first, participants were given an informed consent (see
Appendix C) briefly describing the procedure as well as their rights and benefits of the study.
Along with the inform consent, participants were asked to complete some demographic
characteristics including gender, age (in years), major, and cumulative index grade (CI). After
confirming their participation and completing the demographics questions participants across all
three conditions were asked to complete the abstract reasoning test.
Before the initiation of the task, participants in the painter’s coat and business coat
conditions were asked to wear a blue, long coat or a business suit respectively and they were
informed accordingly about what each coat resembles. More than one suits were used in the
business-coat condition in respect to gender and individual differences. Participants in the no-
coat condition were simply asked to proceed on the completion of the test. All participants were
instructed to complete two forms of the abstract reasoning test presented in a computer screen
(see Appendix D). First, they completed a practice phase so as to familiarize themselves with the
procedure and the objectives of the test. The data obtained from the practice test were not
included in the analysis. Then, they were asked to proceed in the test phase and they were given
a total of 15-minutes for completion. Each problem of the test was displayed on screen for up to
75 seconds and the reaction time of the participant was recorded. Subjects were pressing a
number from 1 to 8 on the keyboard corresponding to the answer that they selected as correct.
After the finalization of the operation participants were handed out a debriefing statement
(see Appendix E) summarizing the main purpose of the study and providing contact information
of the researchers. Finally, participants were also debriefed verbally and thanked for their
A completely between one-way ANOVA was conducted to investigate the effect of
clothes on abstract reasoning. Performance on abstract reasoning was measured in the following
conditions: painter’s coat (M=4.57, SD=2.54); business coat (M=4.16, SD=2.57); no-coat
(M=3.17, SD=1.75). The application of ANOVA showed that clothing did have a significant
effect on abstract reasoning, F (2, 126) = 4.19, p=.017, η2 = 0.06 (see Figure 1).
In particular, the application of post-hoc comparisons with Bonferroni correction
revealed that performance on abstract reasoning was significantly greater in the painter’s coat
condition (p=.017) compared to the no coat condition. There were no significant differences
between performance in the business coat condition with neither of the other two conditions.
Complementary to this analysis, correlations within each condition were investigated. A
series of Pearson’s correlation analyses were conducted to investigate associations between
number of correct answers, reaction time, and CI. All three variables were significantly
correlated with each other in the business coat and no-coat condition, but all found non-
significant in the painter’s coat condition (see Table 1)
The present study investigated the effects of clothes on abstract reasoning, measured
through performance on a fluid intelligence task. The study sought to extend the literature on
enclothed cognition providing evidence that clothing experience is associated with executive
cognitive functioning. The hypothesis was confirmed, with results indicating that individuals
wearing a painters coat display enhanced abstract reasoning skills compared to individuals
dressed in their regular clothes.
The overall findings of the study are consistent with prior literature suggesting that
clothing experience produce behavioral and cognitive stimulation (Adam & Galinsky, 2012;
Stockum & DeCaro, 2014; López-Pérez et al., 2016). Findings on enclothed cognition are
underlined by two basic premises; a cloth has power over the wearer’s mind if: (a) the cloth is
identified with its specific symbolic qualities; and (b) the individual experiences the physical
state of wearing the cloth. An explanation of the enclothed cognition perspective could be
adopted from the context of role theory. People define the roles of themselves and others based
on cognitive schemata that are formulated in their minds. According to role theory people form
expectations of their adopted roles and behave in accordance with them (Turner, 2006). In a
similar line of reasoning, the symbolic qualities of a cloth are implemented to the wearer. For
example, Rafaeli, Dutton, Harquail & Mackie-Lewis (2017) concluded that dressing is an
attribute related to a variety of cognitive schemata associated with cognitive and behavioral
processes in the workplace.
Following the above assumptions, and in accordance with previous reported findings
(Adam & Galinsky, 2012; López-Pérez et al., 2016), the symbolic meaning of the cloth is
“embodied” to the wearer through the physical experience of wearing it. This could be explained
through the stimulation theory of cognition. According to Hesslow (2011) merely thinking an
idea, or a thought, produce sensorimotor activity which evokes perceptual stimulation of its most
probable consequences. Applying this principle in the enclothed cognition perspective, we could
propose that the most probable consequence is that the symbolic qualities of the cloth activate
the cognitive schemata that are embedded in the mind of the wearer. In our case wearing a coat
that is identified with the role of a painter activates the cognitive behavior that is symbolically
characterize a painter, that of abstract thinking.
Additionally, no significant differences in abstract reasoning were reported between the
business coat condition and the other two conditions, supporting the assumption that the
symbolic meaning of clothes plays a determinant role in enclothed cognition perspective. In the
short online survey that we conducted people reported that compared to other type of clothes,
abstract thinking is more likely to be associated with a painter’s coat. Thus, in the context of
encothed cognition, we can assume that the magnitude of the effect of the cloth in our mental
processes is determined by the strength of its symbolic value.
Moreover, correlational analyses between CI and performance on the APM short form
revealed that the two variables are correlated only in the business coat and no-coat conditions.
These results indicate that participants in these two conditions that scored high in the abstract
reasoning test were more likely to have a high CI as well. This relationship was not present in the
painter’s coat condition, where performance on abstract reasoning test was independent to the CI
of the participants. If we consider CI as an indicator of intelligence, these findings could stand in
favor of the enclothed cognition assumption, suggesting that clothes have power over high order
mental functioning.
There are some limitations regarding the objectives of this study that should be discussed.
In fact, our findings are in favor of enclothed cognition perspective, yet no conclusion can be
made on whether clothing affect directly or indirectly abstract processing. The APM that was
used to assess abstract reasoning is a commonly accepted instrument for measuring fluid
intelligence, which is interrelated with several high-order cognitive functions, such as working
memory (Yuan, Steedle, Shavelson, Alonzo, & Oppezzo, 2006). Chuderski (2013) reported that
individuals with high WMC outperform individuals with low WMC in a speeded tests of fluid
intelligence. Interestingly, when the same tests were administered as non-speed tests,
performance of those with low WMC was very close to individuals with higher WMC
(Chuderski, 2013). In our study participants had a limited time (75 sec) to respond in each
problem, something that may had affected the performance of those with lower WMC. Future
studies on enclothed cognition should consider applying additional measurements in respect of
individual differences.
Another limitation is that no baseline measurements of participant’s abstract thinking
capacity were established before the APM short form assessment. CI as an indicator of
intelligence is rather vague and does not allow for collecting data regarding the difference in
performance between before and after coat manipulation. Future studies should opt to establish
measurements that allow for better understanding of the magnitude of enclothed cognition effects.
The current findings suggest that the clothing experience has a meaning itself and is able
to generate cognitive stimulation. Simply put, if you wear a coat that is associated with a painter
it makes you think like one. Our study attempted to provide a more unified perspective of
enlothed cognition, encouraging new directions for future research in the field.
Adam, H., & Galinsky, A. (2012). Enclothed cognition. Journal Of Experimental Social
Psychology, 48(4), 918-925.
Arthur, W., & Day, D. (1994). Development of a Short form for the Raven Advanced
Progressive Matrices Test. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 54(2), 394-403.
Chuderski, A. (2013). When are fluid intelligence and working memory isomorphic and when
are they not?. Intelligence, 41(4), 244-262.
Garcia-Marques, L., & Ferreira, M. (2009). The scaffolded mind: The why of embodied
cognition? European Journal Of Social Psychology, 39(7), 1272-1275.
Häfner, M. (2013). When Body and Mind Are Talking. Experimental Psychology, 60(4), 255-
Hesslow, G. (2012). The current status of the simulation theory of cognition. Brain Research,
1428, 71-79.
Jostmann, N. B., Lakens, D., Schubert, T. W. (2009). Weight as an embodiment of importance.
Psychological Science, 1, 11691174.
Kaspar, K., & Vennekötter, A. (2015). Embodied Information in Cognitive Tasks: Haptic Weight
Sensations Affect Task Performance and Processing Style. Advances In Cognitive
Psychology, 11(3), 64-76.
Lakoff, G. (2012). Explaining Embodied Cognition Results. Topics In Cognitive Science, 4(4),
López-Pérez, B., Ambrona, T., Wilson, E., & Khalil, M. (2016). The Effect of Enclothed
Cognition on Empathic Responses and Helping Behavior. Social Psychology, 47(4), 223-
Mussweiler, T. (2006). Doing Is for Thinking!. Stereotype Activation by Stereotypic
Movements. Psychological Science, 17(1), 17-21.
Nair, S., Sagar, M., Sollers, J., Consedine, N., & Broadbent, E. (2015). Do slumped and upright
postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial. Health Psychology, 34(6), 632-641.
Niedenthal, P., Barsalou, L., Winkielman, P., Krauth-Gruber, S., & Ric, F. (2005). Embodiment
in Attitudes, Social Perception, and Emotion. Personality And Social Psychology
Review, 9(3), 184-211.
Rafaeli, A., Dutton, J., Harquail, C., & Mackie-Lewis, S. (1997). Navigating By Attire: The Use
Of Dress By Female Administrative Employees. Academy Of Management Journal,
40(1), 9-45. Http://Dx.Doi.Org/10.2307/257019
Raven, J., Court, J., & Raven, J. (1985). Raven's progressive matrices and vocabulary scales
(1sted.). London, England: H. K. Lewis.
Slepian, M., Ferber, S., Gold, J., & Rutchick, A. (2015). The Cognitive Consequences of Formal
Clothing. Social Psychological And Personality Science, 6(6), 661-668.
Todorović, T., Toporišič, T., & Pavko Čuden, A. (2014). Clothes and Costumes as Form of
Nonverbal Communication. Tekstilec, 57(4), 321-333.
Turner, J. (2006). Handbook of sociological theory (1st ed.). New York, NY: Springer Science +
Business Media.
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Table 1
Correlations of Correct Answers (CA), RT and CI within each Conditions
Note: * p= 0.05 level, ** p<0.01 level
Figure 1. Mean of correct answers across the three conditions. No significant differences were
found between painter’s-coat and business-coat conditions.
Painter Business NoCoat
Mean of Correct Answers Solved
Coat Condition
Appendix A
Preliminary Survey
Experimental Psychology
Greetings to all!
We are Iro and Marios, and you are invited to participate in a small survey.
We would like to ask you a couple of questions. Your opinion is of high importance; they are to
help us design our experiment!
Your answers, however, are anonymous and of course you can withdrawal at any moment.
Please, let me remind you there are no right or wrong questions; we are only interested in your
Thank you all!
1) Some demographics #1 Age
Prefer not to say
2) Some demographics #2 Gender
Prefer not to say
3) Which of the following jobs would you associate with abstract thinking?
4) Which of the following personality attributes would you mostly associate with
someone wearing a lab coat?
5) Which of the following personality attributes do you associate with someone wearing
a suit?
6) Which of the following personality attributes do you associate most with someone
wearing a painter's coat?
7) A person wearing this coat is most likely to...
Thinking in terms of concepts and general principles
Looking at problems from a fresh perspective, suggesting unorthodox solutions
Does not rush to make quick decisions, examining all aspects.
Works via a structured, organized process, rather than via spontaneous bursts of energy.
They take decisions based on knowledge, facts and information.
8) A person wearing this suit, is most likely to...
Thinking in terms of concepts and general principles
Looking at problems from a fresh perspective, suggesting unorthodox solutions
Does not rush to make quick decisions
Works via a structured, organized process, rather than via spontaneous bursts of energy.
They take decisions based on knowledge, facts and information.
9) A person wearing this coat would most likely...
Thinking in terms of concepts and general principles
Looking at problems from a fresh perspective, suggesting unorthodox solutions
Does not rush to make quick decisions
They take decisions based on knowledge, facts and information.
Works via a structured, organized process, rather than via spontaneous bursts of energy
Appendix B
Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices Test
Practice Phase
1. 2.
3. 4.
Test Phase
1. 2
3 4.
5. 6.
7. 8.
9. 10.
11. 12.
Appendix C
Informed Consent Form for Participants in Research Studies
Psychology Department
Greetings! Please take your time and read this consent form carefully. Please do not hesitate to ask us
about anything that you believe requires further explanation.
Our names are Iro Kalomiri and Marios Andrianos and you are invited to participate in a study
conducted by us as a part of the course PS3134 Experimental Cognitive Psychology. The purpose of this
study is to explore the effects of non-verbal tasks in job interview performance.
If you agree to be in this study, you will be asked to do the following:
1.Complete a 5min non-verbal task
2.Complete a 15min non-verbal task
Benefits/Risks to Participant:
By participating in this study you will contribute to Psychological Research regarding how
internal parameters influence your cognitions. There are several benefits for you as a a participant, the
training of cognitive skills among others. No known risks are associated with this study.
Voluntary Nature of the Study/Confidentiality:
Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you may refuse to complete the study at any
point during the experiment, or refuse to answer any questions with which you are uncomfortable.
Your data will be given a serial number by the experimenter to assure complete anonymity. Your data
will only be viewed and used by the experimenter himself/herself, since no other person will have
access to them. Also your data will only be used for the purposes of this study.
Contacts and Questions:
After the conduction of the experiment you may address any questions to the experimenter.
If you have questions after your participation has finished, you may contact the Instructor of the course
(PS 3134) Dr. Chrysanthi Nega or the Lab Instructor Ms Ioanna Spentza at their personal e-mails
( or
Hereby freely agree to take part in the study described right above.
1 I confirm that I have been provided with information regarding the specific study, including
its aim(s)/purpose(s), methods and, the name and contact details of the experimenter and, as
appropriate, the risks and potential benefits, and any plans for follow-up studies that might involve
further approaches to participants. I have been given details of my involvement in the study. I have
been told that in the event of any significant change to the aim(s) or design of the study I will be
informed, and asked to renew my consent to participate in it.
2 I have been assured that I may withdraw from the study at any time without disadvantage
or having to give a reason.
3 I have been given information about the risks or adverse effects. I have been told about the
aftercare and support that will be offered to me in the event of this happening, and I have been
assured that all such aftercare or support would be provided.
4 I have been told how information relating to me (data obtained in the course of the study,
and data provided by me about myself) will be handled: how it will be kept secure, who will have
access to it, and how it will or may be used.
5 I have been told that in case there is a follow up, I may at some time in the future be
contacted again in connection with this study.
Signature of participant....................................................Date....................................
Signature of investigator................................................. Date.....................................
Name of investigator......................................................
Sex: Male
Appendix D
Instructions of Practice and Test Phase
Practice Phase
You will be presented with a series of pictures
which has a missing part.
Try to identify which of the given answers is filling logically the puzzle.
Choose a number from one to eight, to indicate your answer.
There is only one correct answer.
Test Phase
You will be presented with a series of pictures
which has a missing part.
Try to identify which of the given answers is filling logically the puzzle.
Choose a number from one to eight, to indicate your answer.
There is only one correct answer.
Appendix E
Debriefing Statement
The experimenters of this research project would like to thank you for participating in this
project and for completing this experiment!
This experimental study is actually concerned with embodied cognition. To be more precise, th
effects of clothing on a cognitive process; that of abstract reasoning.
The recent growing field of embodied cognition argues that we do not think only with our
brain, but our body and environment play a determinant role on cognitive processes such as
memory, learning or problem-solving. In a recent study, researchers have found that those
processes are also influenced by the clothes we wear. To be more precise, they have reported that
individuals who wore a doctor’s coat, performed better in attention tasks, compared to
individuals who did not. This finding suggests that clothes put the wearer in a different
psychological state, affecting, among others, the way we process information and various stimuli.
In the present study, we investigate whether a painter’s coat or a suit, affects individual
performance on a fluid intelligence test.
The findings of the present study may be of importance, as they have the potentiality to
further our knowledge about enclothed cognition. The existing literature on the matter is still
Study’s results will be available by the end of the Spring Semester 2017. By sending an
email (, to the researchers you can be informed
about the main findings of the study. If you are interested in learning more about study’s topics
the following bibliography is suggested:
Adam, H., & Galinsky A. D., (2012). Enclothed Cognition. Journal of Experimental
Cognitive Social Psychology., 48(4), 918-925. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.02.008
Also, if you have any questions or concerns about this experiment, if any problems may
have arisen during the completion of the test, or if any psychological distress was experienced
during or after the completion of study please contact us by email in the following address: or
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Research in the field of embodied cognition showed that incidental weight sensations influence peoples' judgments about a variety of issues and objects. Most studies found that heaviness compared to lightness increases the perception of importance, seriousness, and potency. In two experiments, we broadened this scope by investigating the impact of weight sensations on cognitive performance. In Experiment 1, we found that the performance in an anagram task was reduced when participants held a heavy versus a light clipboard in their hands. Reduced performance was accompanied by an increase in the perceived effort. In Experiment 2, a heavy clipboard elicited a specific response heuristic in a two-alternative forced-choice task. Participants showed a significant right side bias when holding a heavy clipboard in their hands. After the task, participants in the heavy clipboard condition reported to be more frustrated than participants in the light clipboard condition. In both experiments, we did not find evidence for mediated effects that had been proposed by previous literature. Overall, the results indicate that weight effects go beyond judgment formation and highlight new avenues for future research.
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Drawing from literature on construal-level theory and the psychological consequences of clothing, the current work tested whether wearing formal clothing enhances abstract cognitive processing. Five studies provided evidence supporting this hypothesis. Wearing more formal clothing was associated with higher action identification level (Study 1) and greater category inclusiveness (Study 2). Putting on formal clothing induced greater category inclusiveness (Study 3) and enhanced a global processing advantage (Study 4). The association between clothing formality and abstract processing was mediated by felt power (Study 5). The findings demonstrate that the nature of an everyday and ecologically valid experience, the clothing worn, influences cognition broadly, impacting the processing style that changes how objects, people, and events are construed.
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Clothing presents an inseparable part of the human body. Linking art with clothing synthesizes the spiritual and social nature of human conduct, and it also creates metaphors and symbolic relationships in the anthropogenic environment. The aim of this synthetic view is to help us understand our internal worlds. The body represents the only support or shelter that a person (or humankind) can rely on. Through clothing, a person can make their fi rst step in non-verbal communication towards the world. Clothing not only shows our appearance, but also represents our interior world. We attract attention with the help of our clothing. With apparel, we communicate with others, express acceptance or rejection, or collective attitudes in relation to understanding something that is likeable, sociable, moral etc. Clothing can be interpreted as a transmission of information between a carrier and recipient through symbolic messages in the general or specifi c scope of the clothing culture. In such open communication, a person creates their individuality through appearance. Messages and information about ourselves are visually sent and received.
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We conducted an inductive study of the everyday decisions about dress at work of female administrative employees in a university business school. Our findings reveal that dress is an attribute embedded in a variety of cognitive schemata that govern individuals' comprehension of and behavior at work. In acquiring and executing these schemata, employees make efforts that enhance their emotional preparedness for jobs and improve interpersonal relations. The study offers implications for theory and research on organizational symbolism, role taking, and the current practical trend toward relaxed dress.
Sociology is experiencing what can only be described as hyperdifferentiation of theories - there are now many approaches competing for attention in the intellectual arena . From this perspective, we should see a weeding out of theories to a small number, but this is not likely to occur because each of the many theoretical perspectives has a resource base of adherents. As a result, theories in sociology do not compete head on with each other as much as they coexist. This seminal reference work was brought together with an eye to capturing the diversity of theoretical activity in sociology - specifically the forefront of theory. Contributors describe what they themselves are doing right now rather than what others have done in the past. The goal of this volume is to allow prominent theorists working in a variety of traditions - who wouldn't usually come together - to review their work. The chapters in this volume represent a mix of theoretical orientations and strategies, but these these theories are diverse and represent the prominent theoretical discussions in sociology today. Some areas included are: Section I: Theoretical Methodologies and Strategies Section II: The Cultural Turn in Sociological Theorizing Section III: Theorizing Interaction Processes Section IV: Theorizing from the Systemic and Macrolevel Section V: New Directions in Evolutionary Theorizing Section VI: Theorizing on Power, Conflict, and Change SectionVII: Theorizing from Assumptions of Rationality This handbook will be of interest to those wanting a broad spectrum and overview of late 20th - early 21st century sociological theory.
Based on the enclothed cognition framework, we tested whether the physical experience of wearing a tunic and identifying it with a nursing scrub may enhance empathic and helping responding, compared to the solely physical experience of wearing the scrub or associating with its symbolic meaning. Results of Study 1 (United Kingdom; n = 150) showed that participants who wore a tunic and identified it with a nursing scrub reported higher empathic concern and helped more in a punctual scenario, compared to the other two conditions. Results of Study 2 (Spain; n = 100) supported findings from Study 1 and showed that participants who wore a tunic and identified it with a nursing scrub volunteered more hours and showed higher response latency for altruistic motivation relevant words. Thus, the current research supports the enclothed cognition framework and shows that it also affects vicarious emotions and prosocial behavior.
Objective: The hypothesis that muscular states are related to emotions has been supported predominantly by research on facial expressions. However, body posture also may be important to the initiation and modulation of emotions. This experiment aimed to investigate whether an upright seated posture could influence affective and cardiovascular responses to a psychological stress task, relative to a slumped seated posture. Method: There were 74 participants who were randomly assigned to either a slumped or upright seated posture. Their backs were strapped with physiotherapy tape to hold this posture throughout the study. Participants were told a cover story to reduce expectation effects of posture. Participants completed a reading task, the Trier Social Stress speech task, assessments of mood, self-esteem, and perceived threat. Blood pressure and heart rate were continuously measured. Results: Upright participants reported higher self-esteem, more arousal, better mood, and lower fear, compared to slumped participants. Linguistic analysis showed slumped participants used more negative emotion words, first-person singular pronouns, affective process words, sadness words, and fewer positive emotion words and total words during the speech. Upright participants had higher pulse pressure during and after the stressor. Conclusions: Adopting an upright seated posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture. Furthermore, sitting upright increases rate of speech and reduces self-focus. Sitting upright may be a simple behavioral strategy to help build resilience to stress. The research is consistent with embodied cognition theories that muscular and autonomic states influence emotional responding.
We introduce the term “enclothed cognition” to describe the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer's psychological processes. We offer a potentially unifying framework to integrate past findings and capture the diverse impact that clothes can have on the wearer by proposing that enclothed cognition involves the co-occurrence of two independent factors—the symbolic meaning of the clothes and the physical experience of wearing them. As a first test of our enclothed cognition perspective, the current research explored the effects of wearing a lab coat. A pretest found that a lab coat is generally associated with attentiveness and carefulness. We therefore predicted that wearing a lab coat would increase performance on attention-related tasks. In Experiment 1, physically wearing a lab coat increased selective attention compared to not wearing a lab coat. In Experiments 2 and 3, wearing a lab coat described as a doctor's coat increased sustained attention compared to wearing a lab coat described as a painter's coat, and compared to simply seeing or even identifying with a lab coat described as a doctor's coat. Thus, the current research suggests a basic principle of enclothed cognition—it depends on both the symbolic meaning and the physical experience of wearing the clothes.