The convergence of psychopathy, self-rated vulnerability, and other-rated vulnerability
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Previous research has found that victims of crime tend to exhibit asynchronous movement (e.g. Grayson & Stein, 1981), and the fact that victims display different body language suggests that they may be sending inadvertent signals to their own vulnerability (e.g. Murzynski & Degelman, 1996). Body language has also be en linked with s e l f identification as a victim (Wheeler et aI., 2009), and self-identification has be en found to act as a proxy for more severe victimization (Baumer, 2002) and greater fear of crime (Greenberg & Beach, 2004). The first prediction in the present study, then, was that self-perceived vulnerability would be correlated with body language, while number of previous victimizations mayor may not show the same relationship. Findings from the present study indicate that self-perceived vulnerability exhibits a positive correlation with the body language cues that approaches significance r (10) = .45,p =.07, one-tailed. Different types of victimization, however, were not significantly correlated with these cues. A second goal of the study was to examine the relationship between psychopathic traits and accuracy in judgments of vulnerability. Seventy male participants rated the vulnerability of 12 female targets filmed walking down a hallway who had provided selfratings of vulnerability. Individuals scoring higher on Factor 2 and total psychopathy were significantly less discrepant from target self-rat~ngs of vulnerability, r (64) = - .39,p < .001; r (64) = - .29,p >.01, respectively. The final purpose of this study was to determine which body language cues were mos t salient to raters when making judgments of vulnerability. Participants rated the apparent vulnerability of a target in 7 video clips portraying each body language cue in isolation and a natural walk. Results of repeated measures analyses indicate that the videos rated as most vulnerable to victimization were those displaying low energy and l a ck of synchrony, followed by wide stride, short stride, and stiffknees, while the video displaying ne ck stiffness did not receive significantly different ratings from the mode l ' s natural walk. Replication with a larger sample size is necessary to increase confidence in findings and implications.