Do you think it's a stretch to say that your gym shorts might make your garcinia cambogia benefits more productive? A team of researchers from Northwestern University tried to find out just that. In a fascinating study, the scientists set out to determine what they called "enclothed cognition" to try and understand how the brain associates changes in clothing and how that influences decision-making.
The psychology behind clothing
The 2012 study, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, demonstrated this theory by conducting a pre-test with an article of clothing that might not expect to find in a gym: a lab coat. Since working in a lab is an attention to detail-type environment, scientists at Northwestern wanted to see if this simple garment would make test subjects more productive. In their first experiment, they discovered that wearing a lab coat did increase selective attention compared to those that did not wear a lab coat.
So, it would appear that "enclothed cognition" could indeed be an effective way to both encourage the symbolic meaning of the clothes as well as the physical experience of getting dressed up for something. This mentality can work for nearly all situations.
For example, think about a first date. You want to make a good impression, so it is likely that you will wear clothes that make you look and feel your best. You probably never thought that the simple act of getting ready for your big date could lead to you making a great first impression. Although everyone's personal fashion choices may be different, this new research suggests that the simple act of getting dressed can change your psychological processes.
Could clothes inspire you to hit the gym?
The same can go for getting ready to go to the gym. Every day when you put on your running pants or lace up your tennis shoes, you may be mentally preparing yourself for a weight loss plan without even knowing it. If you need some fitness inspiration or want to kick start a workout regimen for the first time, maybe going clothing shopping could be just the thing to get you started.
"It's all about the symbolic meaning that you associate with a particular item of clothing," Hajo Adam, one of the researchers involved with the study, explained to The Atlantic. "I think it would make sense that when you wear athletic clothing, you become more active and more likely to go to the gym and work out."