The Good Life

Crossing Your Arms

Here’s an easy way to increase your perseverance and activate an unconscious desire to succeed – just fold your arms. New research shows that arm-crossing affects people’s thinking without them being consciously aware of it.Subjects assigned to sit with their arms crossed spent more time on an impossible-to-solve anagram and came up with more correct solutions to solvable anagrams, than those told to sit with their hands on their thighs.

Normally, it’s thought that a psychological state that leads to a body movement. The study, which appears in the most recent issue of the European Journal of Social Psychology – suggests it goes both ways – that a body movement also can trigger a psychological state. The lead author chose arm crossing because it is a behaviour widely associated with perseverance. So go ahead.

Just remember, crossing your arms can also make you seem defensive or emotionally distant.

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