Say you’re getting ready to take the SAT. You spend hours brushing up on vocabulary; you do hundreds of practice problems; you learn tips on test-taking from a tutor.
Those are good techniques, but you might consider adding a new trick: wearing a lab coat.
People who wore white lab coats made half as many mistakes on attention-related tasks as those wearing their regular clothes, according to a study published this year by Hajo Adam, a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University, along with colleague Adam Galinsky.
It is unclear whether the effects wear off over time, or if knowing the trick removes its effectiveness. But the idea that wearing “smart clothes” makes you smarter is just one example of a growing field within psychology known as embodied cognition.
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