Religious Leaders and their Symbolic Garments

Enclothed cognition means that clothes can exert influence on the way the wearer feels, thinks, and behaves through the symbolic meaning associated with the clothes. Many pieces of clothing carry a symbolic meaning: For example, the robe of a judge signifies justice, an expensive suit signifies power, and a white lab coat signifies a scientific focus and attentiveness. Therefore, to the extent that a religious leader associates his or her symbolic garment with faith, dedication, and assuming a responsible leadership role in the religious community, the leader may indeed be more effective at carrying out his or her tasks and inspiring followers when wearing this kind of attire. In the end, our research suggests that the specific effects of wearing a symbolic garment will depend on the idiosyncratic value that the wearer attributes to it.

How Important Might It Be for Religious Leaders to Wear Symbolic Garments? – Science and Religion Today.


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