Walk This Way: A Kinematic Point-Light Investigation of Victim Vulnerability

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Blaskovits, Brittany




Research suggests that certain individuals exhibit vulnerability through their gait, and that observers select such individuals as those most vulnerable to victimization. It is currently assumed that the vulnerable gait pattern is an expression of one’s submissiveness. Study 1 utilized kinematic point-light display to record individuals walking. The findings suggested that victimization history was related to gait vulnerability. The results also indicated that, contrary to expectation, individuals with more vulnerable features in their gait were more likely to self-report dominant personality characteristics, rather than submissive characteristics. In Study 2, a sample of observers watched the point-light recordings and rated the walkers on their vulnerability to victimization. The results suggested that observers agreed on which walkers were easy targets; they were also accurate in that the walkers that they rated as most likely to experience victimization tended to exhibit vulnerable gait cues. Implications of the findings are discussed.


Psychology - Experimental




Carleton University

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