CSUF Expert Cites Research Showing the Way People Dress Affects the Way They Act, Feel

Cal State Fullerton psychology professor Melinda Blackman encourages her students to dress in business attire when participating in job interviews, even if the interview is conducted over the phone.

This is because, when dressed formally — for example, in a dress and heels or a suit and tie — people tend to act and think differently than when they’re dressed in casual wear, Blackman said.

“Because they are in business attire, they will act and speak with confidence and professionalism over the phone,” she said. “Whereas if they were in their pajamas, they would act and speak in a casual manner consistent with the cues and stereotypes of being in that attire.”

The psychological association between business attire or formal clothing and possessing traits of intelligence, confidence and charisma are instilled since childhood.

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