The new home secretary was the latest politician to strike a power pose on Monday. But what does the science say about this odd stance?

Standing like Wonder Woman doesn’t get you any actual superpowers, but various members of the British government are doing it anyway. The latest politician to join the ranks of the power stance team is Sajid Javid, whose promotion to home secretary was accompanied by a photo call in which he stood with his legs so far apart he practically reinvented manspreading. His colleagues have also been pictured doing this stance, which is known in lifestyle and management coaching circles as the “power pose”. It’s known to me, however, as “a bit of nonsense”.

The power pose was popularised by a 2012 TED talk (which to date has 46m views, making it one of the most popular on the site) in which social psychologist Amy Cuddy claims standing like you’re showing off a golden codpiece (my words, not hers) could “significantly change the way your life unfolds”.

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