Embodied power, testosterone, and overconfidence as a causal pathway to risk taking

R.D. Ronay, J.M. Tybur, Dian van Huijstee, Margot Morssinkhof

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Previous work has found that configuring participants into high-power versus low-power physical postures caused increases in subjective feelings of power, testosterone, and risk-taking as well as decreases in cortisol. We attempted to replicate and extend this pattern of findings by testing for the mediating role of testosterone and overconfidence in the relationship between power poses and risk-taking. We hypothesized that increases in testosterone in response to high-power poses would lead to increases in overconfidence, and that this indirect pathway would mediate the effect of power posing on risk-taking. We were unable to replicate the findings of the original study and subsequently found no evidence for our extended hypotheses. Overconfidence was unaffected by power posing and unrelated to testosterone, cortisol, and risk-taking. As our replication attempt was conducted in the Netherlands, we discuss the possibility that cultural differences may play a moderating role in determining the physiological and psychological effects of power posing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-43
Number of pages16
JournalComprehensive Results in Social Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date6 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Embodiment
  • overconfidence
  • power posing
  • risk-taking
  • testosterone


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