Try it out this weekend, then take it to work!
There’s always that one guy who wears the bright socks or the obnoxious bow tie to a wedding, job interview, or night out. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, this behavior actually has the potential to increase a person’s perceived success.
“Under certain conditions, nonconforming behaviors can be more beneficial to someone than simply trying to fit in. In other words, when it looks deliberate, a person can appear to have a higher status and sense of competency,” write authors Silvia Bellezza, Francesca Gino, and Anat Keinan of Harvard University.
People attribute higher status and competence to individuals who are nonconforming with expected norms of formal conduct across a variety of different populations. In one study, students were asked to rank the perceived professional status of a professor who was employed at either a local college or a top-tier university and who was either clean-shaven and in a business suit or who had a beard and was wearing a t-shirt. As the researchers predicted, the students attributed significantly more status and competence to the unshaven professor at the top-tier university.
The takeaway: figure out how to intentionally display your nonconformity and you’ll be perceived as more successul!