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Managed postures modulate social impressions after limited and unlimited time exposure


People often try to improve their social impressions by performing “good” postures, particularly when others are evaluating them. We aimed to investigate whether such postural management to modulate social impressions are indeed effective, and in the case that they are effective, which impressions are modulated and how quickly these impressions are formed. In total, 207 participants in two different experiments (72 participants in Experiment 1; 135 in Experiment 2) reported their impressions from photographs where other people performed “good” or “bad” postures in three viewing angles (back, front, and side). Participants were presented with a total of 96 pictures without time limitation in Experiment 1; then, for Experiment 2, they were presented with the same pictures, but with time limitations (100, 500, or 1000 ms). In both experiments, participants were asked to report their impressions for each photograph related to the person’s attractiveness, trustworthiness, or dominance. Results showed that the people with “good” postures were generally rated as more attractive and trustworthy. More importantly, it was found that impressions formed after a 100 ms exposure had high correlations with impressions formed in the absence of time constraints, suggesting that the sight of a managed posture for 100 ms is sufficient for people to form social impressions. The findings suggest that people quickly make attractiveness and trustworthiness impressions based on managed postures.

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This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP19K03386, JP19KK0313 to MK, and JST-Moonshot Research and Development (20343198), JST-Mirai program (20349063), JST-CREST (16817876) to KW.

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Both authors contributed to the conception and design of the study. First author organized the database, performed statistical analyses, and wrote the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the submitted manuscript.

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Correspondence to Miho Kitamura.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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The authors declare that the they have no conflict of interest.

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Kitamura, M., Watanabe, K. Managed postures modulate social impressions after limited and unlimited time exposure. Curr Psychol 42, 3957–3967 (2023).

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  • Impression formation
  • Limited time exposure
  • Managed postures
  • Postural appearance
  • Social impressions