Telltale Gait: The Role of Nonverbal Cues in Perceptions of Personality and Vulnerability

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Ritchie, Mary Beatrice




Non-verbal behaviour (e.g., gait) is thought to inadvertently signal information about personality and vulnerability. While non-verbal behaviour provides one of the first opportunities to make socially relevant judgments, individuals appear to differ in the ability to accurately interpret these cues. Based on this research, the purpose of the current study was two-fold, where Study 1 examined the associations between personality traits, victimization history, and gait, and Study 2 explored individual differences in perceptions of the others’ personality and vulnerability. In Study 1, gait was associated with a history of sexual victimization but not violent victimization or personality traits. These associations were dependent on cognitive state. In Study 2, psychopathy most strongly predicted accuracy in perceiving vulnerability to violent victimization, but not sexual victimization or personality traits. Taken together, the results of the current study raise questions about the role gait plays in perceptions of vulnerability and personality among psychopathic individuals.


Psychology - Behavioral
Psychology - Personality




Carleton University

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