Does “Wearing the robes of a priest or a judge could prompt people to act more ethically?”

March 12th, 2012

From WaPo On Leadership Blog:

A recently published study from professors at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University shows that when research subjects wore a scientist’s or medical doctor’s white coat, they performed better on a test known as the “Stroop test,” which asks participants to say the color of a word being shown on a flash card, rather than the word itself. The group who donned white jackets identified as lab coats performed better on conflicting flash cards, such as when the word “blue” is spelled in red letters. Those wearing the lab coats, which people typically associate with care and attentiveness, made about half as many errors as their peers.

The researchers, Adam Galinsky and Hajo Adam, call their paper “Enclothed cognition,” a play on the term “embodied cognition,” the idea that bodily sensations can affect how we think and how we feel. For example, the folks over at Miller-McCune point to a 2010 study that found that body positions we think of as powerful (such as standing and leaning over a table or pumping out your chest) makes people act more confident and even raises testosterone levels in the body.

So what about judicial robes?

And one of my more inflammatory statements:

The Court made no effort whatsoever to scrutinize any legislative history to ascertain the purpose. Rather, doffing their judicial robes and donning clerical robes, the Justices per curiam, without any citations, proclaimed that “the pre-eminent purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls is plainly religious in nature.”221
The Court boldly pronounced that “no legislative recitation of a supposed secular purpose can blind [them] to the fact” that the Ten Commandments are a religious symbol

H/T ABA Journal