Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 575–580

Recognizing the sex of a walker from a dynamic point-light display

  • Lynn T. Kozlowski
  • James E. Cutting

DOI: 10.3758/BF03198740

Cite this article as:
Kozlowski, L.T. & Cutting, J.E. Perception & Psychophysics (1977) 21: 575. doi:10.3758/BF03198740


The sex of human walkers can be recognized without familiarity cues from displays of pointlight sources mounted on major joints. Static versions of these abstract displays do not permit accurate recognition of sex. Variation in the degree of armswing or in walking speed generally interferes with recognition, except that faster speeds are associated somewhat with improved recognition of females. Lights on upper-body joints permit more accurate guesses than do Lights on lower-body joints, but identification is possible even from minimal displays, with lights placed only on the ankles. No feedback was given to observers. Confidence judgments of sex relate to the accuracy of responses in a manner that suggests that viewers know what they are doing.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynn T. Kozlowski
    • 1
  • James E. Cutting
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWesleyan UniversityMiddletown