Have you ever dressed up well specifically for your exam? If yes, did you do it with an intention to stay focused and score well in your test? Surprisingly enough, a lot of people tend to follow the “Dress well, test well” mantra in their life to gain extra advantages when they cannot control certain outcomes. In particular, this applies to students, who are surrounded by these myths of sleeping on a textbook under the pillow or not washing their head to retain knowledge before the exam. They tend to think that dressing up smartly will boost their level of self-confidence and attract a positive look from their professor.
Below we will discuss whether this dressing up on an exam day for better performance is only wishful thinking or there is some proved scientific grounding to this idea.
Confidence Affected by Clothing
How can you empower yourself with your wardrobe? The study conducted by Professor Karen Pine shows that the clothes you are wearing during the exam reflect the level of confidence you have. And this in return can impact your performance. This study on clothing and confidence found out that students who put on “Superman” shirts had a higher rating of themselves for likeability compared to students who wore regular clothes during the assessment day. In the same study, Professor Pine asked women wearing either a bathing suit or a sweater to complete a maths test: the results of the tests recorded that performance of women wearing swimsuits dropped down. This might be linked with feeling uncomfortable, higher rate of stress and lower self-esteem which impact overall performance during the exam.
Therefore, this scientific experiment backs up the idea that the clothes we select impact our emotions and our self-perception. The more satisfied and calm you are during the exam, the more concentrated you are on your tasks which denotes that there will be a higher chance of good grades once the results are known. In order to avoid feeling too stressed during your final examinations, the rule is to select a comfortable outfit which will boost your confidence and in which you will like yourself more. It does not mean that wearing your favourite trousers will help you remember your chemistry formulas! So keep revising!
Mood Influenced by Colour
Colour psychology plays an important role in determining your mood for the day. The better you understand it and your mood for the day, the happier and more satisfied your sentiments will be all day long. The same with the exam: what is your lucky colour? In commerce, for example, this knowledge has been used to the advantage of businesses for a long time. Let’s take an example of fast-food chains: they use bright colours, usually red and yellow, to attract people’s attention and stimulate their appetite. If we take hospitals, they use pastel colours for walls, usually soft blue or green shades, to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere for patients. So there should be a colour that you can use to your advantage as well?
We suggest you to select a colour for your wardrobe to correct your energy levels inside. For instance, if you did an all-nighter and you feel yourself drained, you should wear something bright and sunny to perk you up. If you are feeling nervous, you should go for shades of blue to calm yourself down. At the same time, the most important is to understand yourself and see how you feel when you are wearing a bright red dress, a blue blazer etc? Create your own colour-coded wardrobe full of articles that make you feel certain way!
Cognition Affected by Your Wardrobe Choices
Another interesting experiment which coined the term enclothed cognition was carried out by Professor Galinsky at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. It refers to the idea that what we wear influences how we think. You might have noticed that if you put on running apparel, it puts you into the right frame of mind for exercising in the gym!
Adam Galinsky wanted to find out with his experiment whether putting on other types of clothing will have an effect on how people perform and think. He asked the participants of his experiment to wear white doctor’s coats to find out whether this will make people more focused and attentive to details. The research showed that wearing such doctor’s coats made people more attentive to the tasks in comparison with the participants in white painter’s coats or regular clothes. According to Professor Galinsky, it is the symbolism of clothing that matters for people. People tend to think that doctors are diligent and attentive and once wearing white doctor’s coats, they try to fit this role.
This is a scientific proof again that wearing certain clothing will not let you pass maths exams if you did not put in any effort beforehand. Wearing official dress code wardrobe for the exam will keep you satisfied with your appearance and will make you remember that you have serious goals on this day. Due to this, you will probably become more concentrated in your comfortable official clothes than in your jeans and this can lead you to a better academic performance. So far, your wardrobe affects your mood, self-confidence and how comfortable you feel.
The next time you have an exam, try to make an effort and put on comfortable clothes that make you look attractive and observe how attentive you are during the exam.