When I wake up in the morning before class or before I head to an exam, I usually do not think twice before I throw on a pair of sweat pants and sweat shirt. But could what I wear affect how I perform in the classroom? Does dressing more comfortable affect how I preform, or could it be wearing an outfit that is nicer can do so?
In a unique study I came across the scientists conducted an experiment putting this to the test through lab coats. Within in this single study two different experiments were conducted. First, fifty-eight undergraduate students (19 male, 41 female) were randomly assigned to two groups, one group wore a lab coat and one that wore there own clothing. To create blindness, the subjects wearing lab coats were told all prior subjects wore them as well. Both groups then completed a test that measured the time it took to indicate whether the letters on the screen or red or blue and their accuracy in doing so. The time did not vary between the two groups, but the group that wore lab coats had nearly half the amount of errors as the other group.
The second test divided seventy-four new undergraduate students into two groups. This time both groups were given lab coats. One group was told that the coat they were given was a doctor’s coat and the other group was told the lab coat was a painter’s coat. The people were then surveyed on what they thought of the coat. By doing so, they were able to make a third group based off the people who thought it was a lab coat described as a doctor’s coat. In this test each subject was shown two sets of two pictures. When each set was shown, two of the same pictures were shown on the screen, but each had four minor differences, and they were all instructed to write down the differences they found as quickly as possible. Then, it was measured the time it took and number of differences that were found. The results showed on average, those wearing “a doctor’s coat” found more differences than those who wore the “painter’s coat” and those who saw it as a lab coat not a painter’s coat. The time it took the three groups was relatively similar. This study can lead one to conclude that by wearing the doctor’s coat, one may become more attentive than if they were wearing a regular lab coat or a painter’s coat.
Multiple studies have shown that a person who is wearing formal attire will have an increased “abstract cognitive processing.” ttp://spp.sagepub.com/content/6/6/661 These studies show that in a way, formal clothes make us feel powerful, giving a person an increased level of confidence they did not have before. Based off the two studies I have concluded to fail to reject the hypothesis that the clothing you wearing can affect how a student performs in the classroom. The studies show that some clothing more than others can make a student more likely to pay closer attention to detail.