Have you ever heard the phrase “clothes make the man”? Turns out it might be true. A group of researchers conducted an experiment to see if they could increase intellectual performance by having people wear different clothes. What they found is that clothes that people associate with being smart make people perform better in attention-related tasks.
Interestingly, they found that the symbolic meaning of the clothes made a difference too. In their experiments, they had different people wear the SAME coat, except some people were told it was a doctor’s coat, and others that it was a painter’s coat. People who wore the “doctor’s” coat performed better relative to their prior performance.