What does a Human Predator look for?
Psychologists posit that human predators select their prey based on signals given off by their potential victims. In a matter of seconds, the predator acquires a sense of who is and isn’t a suitable target. For every victim that is assaulted , many more are looked over. What are the CRITERIA that predators use to select their victims? Listen up.
Like a predator in the wilds of Africa, the human predator wants an EASY victim. He will seek out those he perceives as weak, submissive and unlikely to fight back. He doesn’t want resistance and he certainly doesn’t want to be injured.
A show of strength is often sufficient to cause him to abandon the attack and look for a more “passive” victim.
And what about bullies? Bullies don’t usually pick fights with people who will man handle them. They won’t select people who will confront and challenge their behavior. Rapists, muggers, and bullies look for someone they can dominate and control.
The CRAZY “Grayson/Stein Study”-
Back in the 80’s two researchers, Betty Grayson and Morris I. Stein, conducted a study to determine the selection criteria applied by predators when selecting their victims. They videotaped several pedestrians on a busy New York City sidewalk without their knowledge.
They later showed the tape to convicts who were incarcerated for violent offenses (rape, murder, robbery, etc.) They instructed them to identify people on the tape who would make easy or desirable victims. The results aren’t what you’d think!
Within seven seconds, the participants made their selections. What baffled researchers was the victims who were chosen. Some of the small, slightly built females were passed over. Some large men were selected. The selection was not dependant on race, age, size or gender.
Even the convicts didn’t always know why they selected as they did. Some people just looked like easy targets. It appears that much of the predator/prey selection process is unconscious
Here’s what the researchers highlighted as “signals” the predators all agreed on…
People selected as victims had an exaggerated stride: either abnormally short or long. They dragged, shuffled or lifted their feet unnaturally as they walked. Non-victims, on the other hand, tended to have a smooth, natural stride, heel-to-toe fashion.
Victims tend to walk at a different rate than non-victims. Usually, they walk slower than the flow of pedestrian traffic. Their movement lacks a sense of deliberateness or purpose. However, walking too fast can project nervousness or fear.
3. Posture and Gaze:
A slumped posture is interpreted as weakness or submissiveness. A downward gaze implies preoccupation and being unaware of one’s surroundings. Also, someone reluctant to establish eye contact can be perceived as submissive. These traits imply an ideal target for a predator.
Obviously these traits aren’t an exact science but they do highlight body language, eye contact, and moving with confidence. You are communicating even when you don’t think you are!!!