"Putting on formal clothes makes us feel powerful, and that changes the basic way we see the world," said Abraham Rutchick, an author of the study and a professor of psychology at California State University, Northridge.
    
Rutchick and his co-authors found that wearing clothing that's more formal than usual encourages people to use abstract processing more readily than concrete processing.
    
In other words, it makes people think more broadly and holistically, rather than narrowly and about fine-grained details. When study subjects who wore formal clothes took cognitive tests, they demonstrated more abstract processing than the group that sported casual wear.
    
"The findings demonstrate that the nature of an everyday and ecologically valid experience, the clothing worn, influences cognition broadly, impacting the processing style that changes how objects, people, and events are construed," researchers said in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science.

 

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