"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," said lead researcher Liam Satchell from the University of Portsmouth in Britian.
‘People are generally aware that there is a relationship between swagger and psychology. However, personality is indeed manifested in the way we walk.’
People are generally aware that there is a relationship between swagger and psychology. However, the research provides empirical evidence to confirm that personality is indeed manifested in the way we walk, the researchers said.
Further, identifying the potential relationship between an individual's biological motion and their intention to engage in aggression could be used to help prevent crime, Satchell noted.
"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.
For the study, the team assessed the personalities of 29 participants, before using motion capture technology to record them walking on a treadmill at their natural speed.
The researchers also used a standard personality test called the 'big five' to assess personality traits including openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.
Using motion capture technology, which records the actions of humans and uses the information to bring to life digital character models in 3D computer animation, the researchers analysed thorax and pelvis movements, as well as speed of gait.