Friday, June 28, 2013

Are Smartphones Emasculating After All?

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“Is Your iPhone Turning You Into a Wimp?” is the provocative title of an article from Harvard Business School’s Monday newsletter, Working Knowledge, and in it you can hear echoes of Sergey Brin’s contention that smartphones are “emasculating.” But this time, our smarter-than-thou technologies aren’t sapping our confidence by making us depend on them, like megalomaniacal red wheelbarrows. They’re changing the hormonal chemistry of our brains through our posture.   

I’ve written before on the Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy and power poses—I’ve even tried them out, at some cost to my dignity but gain to my dry-cleaning pickup skills. The idea is that certain body stances, such as standing with your legs apart and your hands on your hips, or opening up your chest area, bathe your cortex in testosterone, a hormone associated with assertiveness and the willingness to take risks. Meanwhile, they also reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. On the other hand, low power poses—crossing your arms over your chest, say, or bunching your shoulders—increase neural levels of cortisol and reduce testosterone, resulting in more stress and less confidence.
 
For the rest of the story: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/06/27/sergey_brin_may_be_right_about_emasculating_smartphones_say_researchers.html

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