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Thu Apr 11, 2013, 01:38 AM

Study Suggests Attackers Choose Victims Based on the Way They Walk

In the report titled “Psychopathy and Victim Selection: The Use of Gait as a Cue to Vulnerability,” the authors surveyed 47 inmates at a maximum-security prison in Ontario and found that social predators are very good at picking victims based on their gait—their posture and their stride.

The authors secretly filmed 12 people walking—eight women and four men, some of whom had been attacked before. Then, they showed the footage to a group of inmates, some of whom exhibited interpersonal traits commonly associated with psychopathy—manipulativeness, a lack of empathy, superficial friendliness—and asked them whether or not each person would make a good victim.

These “victim ratings” were then compared against each person’s actual history of victimization. Sure enough, the people whom the psychopaths picked as “likely victims” were usually the ones who had been victimized in the past. These people were often said to have “walked like an easy target”—slowly, asynchronously, with short strides.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/04/09/journal_of_interpersonal_violence_study_suggests_attackers_choose_victims.html?wpisrc=obinsite

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Reply Study Suggests Attackers Choose Victims Based on the Way They Walk (Original post)
arely staircase Apr 2013 OP
Warpy Apr 2013 #1
smirkymonkey Apr 2013 #8
BainsBane Apr 2013 #2
ismnotwasm Apr 2013 #4
BainsBane Apr 2013 #5
surrealAmerican Apr 2013 #9
silverweb Apr 2013 #3
leveymg Apr 2013 #6
Journeyman Apr 2013 #7
raccoon Apr 2013 #10

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 01:40 AM

1. Makes sense, I walk fast even by Boston standards

and the last time some joker tried to grab me on the street I had shin splints and was walking much more slowly than my usual.

I was in pain and in a very bad mood. The guy didn't like what happened next.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 06:40 AM

8. So do I, but then again I am a transplanted New Yorker and even

walked fast by NYC standards. Interestingly, I have never been attacked.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 01:50 AM

2. This is something you instinctively learn growing up in the inner city

How you carry yourself is important. Never show fear, but that is best done when you don't feel fear. Predators, whether robbers or rapists, seem to be able to pick out those who are uncomfortable in a given neighborhood.

Rapists, even stranger rapists, seem to have a psychopathic sense that enables them to pick out those previously assaulted. Experiences with people I know anecdotally confirm that study.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 02:11 AM

4. This is true

I walk fast, head up and give a chin tilt nod to any body who even looks at me and sets off my creepdar.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 02:15 AM

5. I walk with purpose but not hurriedly.

You definitely need to keep an eye on who is around you. They are less likely to attack if they think you an identify them. Of course a big dog at your side is a deterrent.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:45 AM

9. I would argue that most people have that sense ...

... not only psychopaths. I'm out walking where there are other people every day. You can tell who's strong and confident, who's lost, who's sad, who's daydreaming, etc. It's a normal human social skill.

This is really just reading moods.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 01:56 AM

3. Makes sense.

I've always heard that people who look alert, aware, and purposeful don't get attacked as much as people who look distracted, confused, or aimless. Makes perfect sense to me.

One day, I was putting groceries in the car when I sensed movement behind me and to my right. I looked back and saw a young man in motion, just a couple of feet away. I immediately stood up, looked him in the eye, and said in a friendly tone, "Hi. Is there something I can do for you?" He started mumbling about how he thought maybe I needed some help, so I firmly assured him I did not and he hurried off.

I'm pretty sure he'd had something else in mind when he saw me leaning into the back seat with grocery bags, my purse hanging from my shoulder. After that, the purse went into the car and out of sight first.

I've told my daughter the same thing: Always look like you know exactly where you are, where you're going, and what you're doing -- even if that may not be the case at the moment. Another thing is to always make sure your wallet is put away before you leave the store; never ever be seen putting cash or credit cards away while you're walking.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 02:21 AM

6. Walk like a dominant predator, or an armed psychopath, and they'll move away.

Your choice of stance depends upon the circumstances. Dominant predator normally works in threatening environments. However, if confronted, pretend that you're a homicidal maniac who's hunting for the kind of people who want to victimize you. It works.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 03:29 AM

7. You can also stay safe if you talk like a Russian. . .

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:00 AM

10. This is a good thread. I like it a lot. (that's the best I can do at 8 AM!) nt

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