We've known for a long time that seemingly arbitrary body language like the way we fold our arms or the direction we cross our legs can reveal much more about us than we may have thought. But a new study, carried out at the University of Portsmouth, has revealed that even the way we walk can be an unintended insight into our personality.
The Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour reported the results of the study, which involved 29 people walking on a treadmill, in order to identify personality traits such as extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and even aggression.
Each of the participants filled out a questionnaire and were then recorded walking at their "natural speed" using motion capture technology. The results?
If you've got that coveted "hip sway": You're the life of the party. Those with increased pelvis movement tended to possess better social skills."There are strong positive correlations between agreeableness and [hip sway] for female participants," explains lead researcher Liam Satchell.
If your hips are really moving: People may want to avoid you when you're angry. In the study, when a gentle sway got more exaggerated, it seemed to suggest a more aggressive character. In fact, Satchell goes so far as to say that this "distinctive gait" could be important for predicting impending criminal acts.
If your hips stay fairly still: Participants with less bodily movement per stride were found to be more creative and conscientious.
Well, they have always said that the hips don't lie …