Amy Cuddy

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Amy Cuddy
Amy J. C. Cuddy
Alma materUniversity of Colorado
Princeton University
Scientific career
InstitutionsRutgers University
Kellogg School of Management
Harvard Business School
ThesisThe bias map: behavior from intergroup affect and stereotypes (2005)
Doctoral advisorSusan Fiske

Amy Joy Casselberry Cuddy (born 1972)[1] is an American social psychologist, author and speaker. She is widely known for her 2012 TED talk, where she presented her research on the phenomenon of "power posing",[2][3] a theory later disproven by several researchers.[4][5] She has served as a faculty member at Rutgers University, Kellogg School of Management and Harvard Business School.[6] Cuddy's most cited academic work involves using the stereotype content model that she helped develop to better understand the way people think about stereotyped people and groups.[7] She is not currently employed by any academic institution.

Early life and education[edit]

Cuddy grew up in a small Pennsylvania Dutch town, Robesonia, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Conrad Weiser High School in 1990.[8]

In 1998, Cuddy earned a B.A. in Psychology, graduating magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado.[9] She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1998 to 2000 before transferring to Princeton University to follow her adviser, Susan Fiske.[4] She received an M.A. in 2003 and a Ph.D. in 2005 in Social Psychology (dissertation: “The BIAS Map: Behavior from intergroup affect and stereotypes”) from Princeton University.[9]

Academic career[edit]

From 2005-2006, Cuddy was an assistant professor of psychology at Rutgers University.[9] In 2012, Cuddy was an assistant professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University,[10] where she taught leadership in organizations in the MBA program and research methods in the doctoral program.[9] In 2013, Cuddy was an assistant professor in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at the Harvard Business School, where she taught courses in negotiations, leadership, power and influence, and research methods.[11] In the spring of 2017, The New York Times reported, "she quietly left her tenure-track job at Harvard,"[4] where she lectured in the psychology department.[12] As of June 2018, she was no longer employed by Harvard.



In 2002, Cuddy co-authored the proposal of the stereotype content model, with Susan Fiske and Peter Glick (Lawrence University).[13] In 2007, the same authors proposed the "Behaviors from Intergroup Affect and Stereotypes" (BIAS) Map model.[14] These models propose to explain how individuals make judgments of other people and groups within two core trait dimensions, warmth and competence, and to discern how these judgments shape and motivate our social emotions, intentions, and behaviors.[15]

Power posing[edit]

In 2010, Cuddy carried out an experiment with Dana Carney and Andy Yap[16] on how nonverbal expressions of power (i.e., expansive, open, space-occupying postures)[17] affect people's feelings, behaviors, and hormone levels.[18] In particular, they claimed that adopting body postures associated with dominance and power ("power posing") for as little as two minutes can increase testosterone, decrease cortisol, increase appetite for risk, and cause better performance in job interviews. This was widely reported in popular media.[19][20][21] David Brooks summarized the findings, "If you act powerfully, you will begin to think powerfully."[22]

In 2014, Eva Ranehill and other researchers tried to replicate this experiment with a larger group of participants and a double-blind setup.[23] The experimenters found that power posing increased subjective feelings of power, but did not affect hormones or actual risk tolerance. They published their results in Psychological Science.[24] Carney, Cuddy, & Yap responded in the same issue with an overview of 33 published studies related to power posing, including the Ranehill et al. study. Almost all had reported significant effects of some kind. The overview noted methodological differences between their 2010 study[16] and the Ranehill replication, which may have moderated the effects of posing.[25]

Two researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Simmons & Simonsohn, later shared a meta-analysis of the same 33 studies on their statistics blog.[26] Based on the distribution of p‑values reported across the studies (the 'p‑curve'), they concluded that studies so far have demonstrated little to no average effect of power posing.[27] Their analyses appeared in Psychological Science in March 2017.[28] A year later, Cuddy and her Harvard colleagues S. Jack Schultz and Nathan E. Fosse responded in the same journal with a review of 55 studies in which p‑curve analyses revealed "strong evidential value for postural-feedback (i.e., power-posing) effects and particularly robust evidential value for effects on emotional and affective states (e.g., mood and evaluations, attitudes, and feelings about the self)."[29] Nelson, Simmons & Simonsohn then responded on their statistics blog with a demonstration that Cuddy et al. had included several studies that were extreme outliers, and that "their analysis should not be used as evidence for the effects of power posing."[30] In June 2018, the Social Science Research Network in turn published a commentary by Marcus Crede of Iowa State University titled "A Negative Effect of a Contractive Pose is Not Evidence for the Positive Effect of an Expansive Pose."[31] Crede concluded that the inferences of Cuddy, Schultz, and Fosse that power poses have positive effects on feelings of power and emotional/affective states are incorrect "because most of the examined studies cannot distinguish between the effects of an expansive pose and the effects of a contractive pose."

When replicating the study via a "preregistered" article (a study selected for publication based on a research plan rather than on the finished paper[5]), Garrison et al.[32] found that expansive (vs. contractive) body postures had either no effect or actually reduced psychological states associated with power. The fact the study was preregistered, had a large n (over 300), used multiple measures of power (an ultimatum game, a gamble, and feelings of being powerful and in charge), and tested not only posing but adopting a direct eye gaze, increases confidence that expansive poses have no or in fact negative effects on feelings of power.

In 2018, Saggese et al. showed that assuming high-power poses favors risk tolerant behaviors and increases feelings of powerfulness. This is not true in the case of low-power postures, which engender a sense of stress, sustained by a significant increase of skin conductance levels. [33]

The inability to replicate Cuddy's findings was publicized in articles by two professors at Columbia University in Slate[34] and in other popular media sources.[35]

The "power posing" theory has been described as an example of the replication crisis in psychology, in which initially seductive theories cannot be replicated in follow-up experiments.[36]



In December 2015 Cuddy published a self-help book advocating power posing, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, which built on the value of the outward practice of power posing to focus on projecting one's authentic self with the inward-focused concept of presence—defined as “believing in and trusting yourself – your real honest feelings, values and abilities.”[37] The book reached at least as high as #3 on The New York Times Best Seller list (Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous) in February 2016.[38] The book was translated into 32 languages.[39]

Academic papers
  • Cuddy, A. J. C.; Glick, P.; Beninger, A. (2011). "The dynamics of warmth and competence judgments, and their outcomes in organizations". Research in Organizational Behavior. 31: 73–98. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/j.riob.2011.10.004.
  • Carney, D.; Cuddy, A. J. C.; Yap, A. (2010). "Power posing: Brief nonverbal displays affect neuroendocrine levels and risk tolerance". Psychological Science. 21 (10): 1363–1368. doi:10.1177/0956797610383437. PMID 20855902., listed among "The Top 10 Psychology Studies of 2010" by Halvorson (2010).[40]
  • Cuddy, A. J. C., Fiske, S. T., & Glick, P. (2008). Warmth and competence as universal dimensions of social perception: The Stereotype Content Model and the BIAS Map. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (vol. 40, pp. 61–149). New York, NY: Academic Press.
  • Cuddy, A. J. C.; Fiske, S. T.; Glick, P. (2007). "The BIAS Map: Behaviors from intergroup affect and stereotypes". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 92 (4): 631–648. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.92.4.631. PMID 17469949.
  • Fiske, S. T.; Cuddy, A. J. C.; Glick, P. (2007). "Universal dimensions of social cognition: Warmth, then competence". Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 11 (2): 77–83. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2006.11.005. PMID 17188552.
  • Fiske, S. T.; Cuddy, A. J. C.; Glick, P.; Xu, J. (2002). "A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from status and competition". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 82 (6): 878–902. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.878. PMID 12051578.
TED talk

Awards and honors[edit]

  • World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, 2014[42]
  • TIME magazine 'Game Changer', 2012[43]
  • Rising Star Award, Association for Psychological Science (APS), 2011[44]
  • The HBR List: Breakthrough Ideas for 2009, Harvard Business Review[45]
  • Michele Alexander Early Career Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 2008[9]
  • BBC 100 Women, 2017: glass ceiling team[46]


  1. ^ middle names and year of birth as reported by
  2. ^ "TedTalks: Your body language shapes who you are". Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  3. ^ "TedTalks: Most Viewed TEDTalks". Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Dominus, Susan (October 18, 2017). "When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy". New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Sorry, but standing like Superman probably won't make your life any better". 13 September 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Harvard Kennedy School, Center for Public Leadership".
  7. ^ "Google Scholar - Amy Cuddy".
  8. ^ Scheid, Lisa (2016-07-17). "Best-selling author and social psychologist recalls Berks roots". Reading Eagle.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Curriculum Vitae AMY J. C. CUDDY" (PDF). HBS.
  10. ^ "Kellog School of Management, Meet the new faculty". Kellog World, Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  11. ^ "Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, Academic Programs & Faculty". Harvard University. 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "Harvard University Course Catalog". Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  13. ^ Cuddy, Amy J. C.; Fiske, Susan T.; Glick, Peter; Xu, Jun (June 2002). "A model of (often mixed) sterotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 82 (6): 878–902. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.878. PMID 12051578.
  14. ^ Cuddy, Amy J. C.; Fiske, Susan T.; Glick, Peter (April 2007). "The BIAS map: Behaviors from intergroup affect and stereotypes". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 92 (4): 631–648. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.92.4.631. PMID 17469949. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  15. ^ Krakovsky, Marina (2010). "Mixed Impressions: How We Judge Others on Multiple Levels". Scientific American Mind. 21: 12. doi:10.1038/scientificamericanmind0110-12.
  16. ^ a b Carney, Dana R.; Cuddy, Amy J. C.; Yap, Andy J. (October 2010). "Power Posing – Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance". Psychological Science. 21 (10): 1363–1368. doi:10.1177/0956797610383437. PMID 20855902.
  17. ^ Venton, Danielle (15 May 2012). "Power Postures Can Make You Feel More Powerful". Wired. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  18. ^ "Boost Power Through Body Language". HBR Blog Network. Harvard Business Review. 2011-04-06. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  19. ^ Buchanan, Leigh (May 2012). "Leadership Advice: Strike a Pose". Inc.Magazine. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  20. ^ Baron, Neil (2012-04-13). "Power Poses: Tweaking Your Body Language for Greater Success". Expert Perspective. Fast Company. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  21. ^ Halverson, Ph.D., Heidi Grant. "Feeling Timid and Powerless? Maybe It's How You Are Sitting". The Science of Success. Psychology Today. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  22. ^ Brooks, David (20 April 2011). "Matter Over Mind". The Opinion Pages. The New York Times.
  23. ^ Where the original experiment had 42 subjects (21 in each condition), Ranehill et al had 200. The experimenters were kept unaware of which condition each subject was in to avoid experimenter bias.
  24. ^ Ranehill, E.; Dreber, A.; Johannesson, M.; Leiberg, S.; Sul, S.; Weber, R. A. (25 March 2015). "Assessing the Robustness of Power Posing: No Effect on Hormones and Risk Tolerance in a Large Sample of Men and Women". Psychological Science. 26 (5): 653–656. doi:10.1177/0956797614553946. ISSN 0956-7976. PMID 25810452.
  25. ^ Carney, D. R.; Cuddy, A. J. C.; Yap, A. J. (3 April 2015). "Review and Summary of Research on the Embodied Effects of Expansive (vs. Contractive) Nonverbal Displays". Psychological Science. 26 (5): 657–663. doi:10.1177/0956797614566855. ISSN 0956-7976. PMID 25841000.
  26. ^ Simmons, J. & Simonsohn, U. (2015). Power Posing: Reassessing the Evidence Behind the Most Popular ted Talk.
  27. ^ They suggested publication bias as a possible explanation: "e.g., labs that run studies that worked wrote them up, labs that run studies that didn't, didn't."
  28. ^ Simmons, Joseph P.; Simonsohn, Uri (2017-03-20). "Power Posing: P-Curving the Evidence". Psychological Science. 28 (5): 687–693. doi:10.1177/0956797616658563. PMID 28485698. SSRN 2791272.
  29. ^ Cuddy, Amy J. C.; Schultz, S. Jack; Fosse, Nathan E. (2018-03-02). "P-Curving a More Comprehensive Body of Research on Postural Feedback Reveals Clear Evidential Value for Power-Posing Effects: Reply to Simmons and Simonsohn". Psychological Science. 29 (4): 656–666. doi:10.1177/0956797617746749. PMID 29498906.
  30. ^ Nelson, L., Simmons, J. & Simonsohn, U. (2018). Outliers: Evaluating A New P-Curve Of Power Poses
  31. ^ Crede, Marcus (2018-06-19). "A Negative Effect of a Contractive Pose is Not Evidence for the Positive Effect of an Expansive Pose: Commentary on Cuddy, Schultz, and Fosse (2018)". Social Science Research Network. SSRN 3198470.
  32. ^ Garrison, Katie E.; Tang, David; Schmeichel, Brandon J. (2016-06-07). "Embodying Power A Preregistered Replication and Extension of the Power Pose Effect". Social Psychological and Personality Science. 7 (7): 623–630. doi:10.1177/1948550616652209. ISSN 1948-5506.
  33. ^ Davide Saggese, G.Cordasco, M.N.Maldonato, N.Bourbakis, A.Vinciarelli and A.Esposito. DOI: 10.1109/ICTAI.2018.00159
  34. ^ Gelman, Andrew (January 1, 2016). "Amy Cudd's Power Pose Research Is the Latest Example of Scientific Overreach". Slate.
  35. ^ King, Tracy (1 May 2018). "Sajid Javid and the strange science behind power poses". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  36. ^ Singal, Jesse. "There's an Interesting House-of-Cards Element to the Fall of Power Poses". New York magazine. Retrieved 21 October 2017. Romm, Cari; Baer, Drake; Singal, Jesse; Dahl, Melissa. "Why People Love(d) Power Posing: A Science of Us Conversation". New York magazine. Retrieved 21 October 2017. Singal, Jesse. "How Should We Talk About Amy Cuddy, Death Threats, and the Replication Crisis?". New York magazine. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  37. ^ Davis-Laack, Paula (January 5, 2016). "How To Bring Presence To Your Biggest Challenges". Forbes. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016.
  38. ^ "Best Sellers / Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous". The New York Times. February 7, 2016. Archived from the original on January 29, 2016.
  39. ^ Robinson, Melia; Lebowitz, Shana; Maisch, Andreas (January 2, 2016). ""Power-Posen": So einfach verbessert ihr mit Körpersprache euer Selbstbewusstsein ("Power-poses": Improve your self-confidence with body language". Business Insider Deutschland. Archived from the original on February 11, 2016.
  40. ^ Heidi Grant Halvorson, "The Top 10 Psychology Studies of 2010. Ten great studies from 2010 that can improve your life.", Psychology Today, 20 December 2010.
  41. ^ "PopTech Annual Conference". 'Talk of the Day', October 21, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-06-07. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  42. ^ "Young Global Leaders 2014 - World Economic Forum". Retrieved 2015-07-30.
  43. ^ Cuddy, Amy (19 March 2012). "Game Changers, Innovators and problem solvers that are inspiring change in America". TIME Specials. TIME, Inc. Retrieved 23 June 2012. "Amy Cuddy, Power Poser. Using a few simple tweaks to body language, Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy discovers ways to help people become more powerful"
  44. ^ "Rising Star Award, 2011". Association for Psychological Science (APS).
  45. ^ "Harvard Business Review". The HBR List: Breakthrough Ideas for 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  46. ^ "BBC 100 Women: Who is on the list?". 1 November 2017 – via

External links[edit]