This afternoon I've been observing people at a local park and came up with some observations that lead me to this question:
Can the person's gait (manner of walking) say something about the person's internal experience at that moment? I'm thinking of arousal and cognition.
For example: Have you ever seen a businessman or an office worker walk? They walk with a purpose, quite energetically with the body slightly inclined forward. Is it feasible to say that when such walk is observed, the person is going somewhere, and may be tense?
A child may be running around with arms in the air, along an irregular path. Can it be said that such child is energetic and excited at that moment?
Two elderly people may walk very differently. One couple walks at a regular pace of 3-4mph, while another couple may push one foot in front of the other at 0.5 mph. Can this tell us anything about the differences in the mental activity that takes place within these people?
A person may be strolling slowly at <1mph, observing the environment. Can it be said that such person is calm?
It appears to me that in the examples above, the person's mood/demeanor and motion are connected.
I'm interested if there's really any correlation between how a person appears outwardly and how the person feels? In other words, if one is tense and feels pressed for time, would one start to "walk with a purpose", as opposed to strolling casually?
Thank you for your input.