Next time you notice somebody swinging their arms as they walk, you might want to consider crossing the road.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have found that walkers with exaggerated upper and lower body movement tended to be more aggressive.
The psychology researchers assessed the personalities of 29 participants and then used motion capture technology to record them as they walked on a treadmill at their natural speed.
They used a standard personality test to check participants' openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. While walking on the treadmill, participants' gait speed and thorax and pelvis movements were measured.
"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," lead researcher Liam Satchell told Science Daily.
Research findings have been published in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.
He said more research was needed assessing the ties between movement and personality, but suggested the research findings could prove useful to police.
"If CCTV observers could be trained to recognise the aggressive walk demonstrated in this research, their ability to recognise impending crimes could be improved further," he said.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us