Evidence of big five and aggressive personalities in gait biomechanics

Liam Paul Satchell, Paul Haydn Morris, Chris Mills, Liam O'Reilly, Paul Marshman, Elizabeth Akehurst

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Purpose - Behavioural observation techniques which relate action to personality have long been neglected (Furr & Funder, 2007) and, when employed, often use human judges to code behaviour. In the current study we used an alternative to human coding (biomechanical research techniques) to investigate how personality traits are manifest in gait. 

Method - We used motion capture technology to record 29 participants walking on a treadmill at their natural speed. We analysed their thorax and pelvis movements, as well as speed of gait. Participants completed personality questionnaires, including a Big Five measure and a trait aggression questionnaire.

Results - We found that gait related to several of our personality measures. The magnitude of upper body movement, lower body movement and walking speed, were related to Big Five personality traits and aggression. 

Conclusion - Here, we present evidence that some gait measures can relate to big five and aggressive personalities. We know of no other examples of research where gait has been shown to correlate with self-reported measures of personality and suggest that more research should be conducted between largely automatic movement and personality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-44
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Issue number1
Early online date6 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


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