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What Is Enclothed Cognition?

I want you to visualise a group of kids playing a competitive game of football in tattered old clothing.


Now visualise a second group of kids playing, though this time kitted out in sportswear, with matching kits, indicating two different teams.


Which group do you suspect made the most passes, tackles and more accurate shots?


According to the “Enclothed Cognition" phenomenon - a term coined by Adam and Galinsky (2012), the latter group should appear to be more competitive.


Enclothed Cognition refers to the idea that the clothes we wear have an incredible impact on our psychological processes and behaviour as we essentially have the ability to “put on our power”.


Cognitive Psychologists Adam and Galinsky propose that the symbolic meaning of the clothing along with the actual wearing of it affects how we think and behave thus, tested this by manipulating a basic white lab coat. 

How was it studied?


From the study, researchers found that subjects performed better (made fewer errors when tasked with a Stroop Test) when they were wearing a lab coat compared to subjects who wore their own clothes.


Next, researchers tested the symbolic meaning of the clothes, an important element in explaining the concept of Enclothed Cognition. 


To test this, subjects were made to complete an attention task whilst wearing a white coat which was either labelled as a doctor’s or a painter’s coat. 


Results revealed that subjects sustained more attention when wearing what was described as a ‘doctor’s coat’, solidifying the notion that enclothed cognition affects the mind and behaviour; which in this case led to an improvement in performance.

What does this mean for you?


From that research, we can better understand why it’s important to feel great in what you wear. Being dressed for each occasion can impact your mindset and performance. Not only in the gym to perform better, but in-between locations, a meeting at the coffee shop, seeing friends, or grabbing a quick meal on a date. 


Never feeling under-dressed can help keep our minds focused on the task at hand. This is a real benefit to your performance, cognition, and self-confidence throughout the day. This is why we truly believe in what we are doing here at GYMVERSUS. 


Search online for our exclusively monochrome activewear and accessories created to help active individuals simplify their wardrobe and be ready for every occasion with timeless and versatile designs at affordable prices.

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