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First impressions : gait cues drive reliable trait judgments.

Thoresen, J.C. and Vuong, Q.C. and Atkinson, A.P. (2012) 'First impressions : gait cues drive reliable trait judgments.', Cognition., 124 (3). pp. 261-271.


Personality trait attribution can underpin important social decisions and yet requires little effort; even a brief exposure to a photograph can generate lasting impressions. Body movement is a channel readily available to observers and allows judgements to be made when facial and body appearances are less visible; e.g., from great distances. Across three studies, we assessed the reliability of trait judgements of point-light walkers and identified motion-related visual cues driving observers’ judgements. The findings confirm that observers make reliable, albeit inaccurate, trait judgements, and these were linked to a small number of motion components derived from a Principal Component Analysis of the motion data. Parametric manipulation of the motion components linearly affected trait ratings, providing strong evidence that the visual cues captured by these components drive observers’ trait judgements. Subsequent analyses suggest that reliability of trait ratings was driven by impressions of emotion, attractiveness and masculinity.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Bodily motion, Personality, Point-light walkers, Biological motion, Trait impressions, Perceived emotion.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Cognition. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Cognition, 124(3), September 2012, 10.1016/j.cognition.2012.05.018
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:24 January 2014
Date of first online publication:September 2012
Date first made open access:No date available

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