Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

George Bizer




self, class, participants, esteem


Past research suggested that students with low self-esteem participate less in class than students with high self-esteem. Separately, prior research investigated the effects of nonverbal behavior on different variables such as confidence and performance. In the current research, we explored the effect of posture on the level of class participation (i.e. the number of times participants raised their hand to participate during a question-answer session). First, participants were asked to take a self-esteem questionnaire before participating in a simulated lecture. Next, participants were randomly assigned to either a slumped or upright posture condition. During the lecture, participants watched a short video followed by a question-answer session. Lastly, participants filled out a second self-esteem questionnaire and then took a quiz. We hypothesized that participants in the upright condition would show a greater increase in self-esteem, be more likely to answer first, and participate more than those in the slumped condition. The results showed no difference in participation levels between the two conditions; however, participants in the upright condition showed a higher increase in self-esteem and were more likely to answer first compared to participants in the slumped condition. Therefore, the research provides insight into posture’s effect on the classroom experience and, more specifically, participation and self-esteem.