Why do we have the idiom ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? Because we do tend to judge a book by its outward appearance . . . and we judge men and women we meet by their coverings.

It gets worse. We even think that people who wear better coverings have better qualities. We assume them to be more professional and expect them to perform better, all else being equal.

Thanks to people in white coats, you can now practice the same trick on yourself. Researchers at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University have found that what you wear can change how you interact with your world and so influence how you perform. That is, as long as the clothing you wear has symbolic meaning, to you and to society, of better, richer, stronger, whatever.

But wait! Because others still judge you by your coverings, I suggest you wear something over that super hero outfit.

You can also listen here to the radio version of Wear smart to be smart (10 most recent radio files)

© 2012 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

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