A new study from the University of Portsmouth has discovered that how the person walks can give clues to how aggressive that person is.
The Department of Psychology researchers
tested 29 participants’ personalities and then recorded them while walking on a treadmill using motion capture technology.
The researchers found that exaggerated movements of the upper and lower body indicate aggression.
Liam Satchell, the lead researcher
said, “When walking, the body naturally rotates a little; as an individual steps forward with their left foot, the left side of the pelvis will move forward with the leg, the left shoulder will move back and the right shoulder forward to maintain balance. An aggressive walk is one where this rotation is exaggerated."
Their test involved having the participants complete a questionnaire which measures levels of aggression. The participants were then asked to answer the ‘Big Five’ Personality Test to assess their openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Through the use of motion capture technology, they were able to record the participants’ actions and used this information to bring to life the digital character models in 3D animation. The researchers studied the participants’ thorax and pelvis movements and speed of gait.
“People are generally aware that there is a relationship between swagger and psychology. Our research provides empirical evidence to confirm that personality is indeed manifest in the way we walk. We know of no other examples of research where gait has been shown to correlate with self-reported measures of personality and suggest that more research should be conducted between automatic movement and personality," Satchell said.