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How Walking Is Linked With Aggression? Study Reveals

How Walking Is Linked With Aggression? Study Reveals

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First Posted: Sep 22, 2016 05:10 AM EDT
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An exaggerated movement while walking shows aggression, according to study.
(Photo : Spencer Platt / Staff / Getty Images)

The way humans walk could show if they aggressive or not, according to a new study. The excessive movement of both the upper and lower body indicated aggression in an individual.

Liam Satchell, the lead author of the study, explained that when walking the body naturally rotates a little; a person steps forward with his left foot, the left side of the pelvis will move forward with the leg. Meanwhile, the left shoulder will move back and the right shoulder forward to maintain balance. She further said that an aggressive walk is one where this rotation is exaggerated.

The study involved 29 participants wherein the team of researchers examined their personalities. They used motion capture technology to record their walking on a treadmill at their natural speed. The researchers examined their thorax and pelvis movements and their speed of gait, according to Science Daily.

They also gave the participants questionnaires that weigh their level of aggression. The participants took standard personality test known as the "big five" to evaluate personality traits such as agreeableness, extraversion, openness, neuroticism and conscientiousness.

The results showed that those who walked with an exaggerated movement of both the upper and lower body or referred to as "swagger" were aggressive. Meanwhile, the agreeable or the extroverted were linked with increased pelvis movement alone or the "hip sway." Those who were creative had less overall movement in walking or had little swagger or little sway, according to Daily Mail.

Liam Satchell said that the study indicates empirical evidence to confirm that personality is indeed manifest in the way humans walk. He further said that recognizing the potential relationship between the person's biological motion and their intention to engage in aggression could be used to help prevent crime. He concluded that if CCTV observers could be trained to identify the aggressive walk as shown in the study, their ability to recognize impending crimes could be improved further.


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