Saturday, July 30, 2011
Negotiation Secret # 252: What do Over-Rated Actors,
News Reporters and Insincere People
Have in Common?
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 321:
Body Language of a Surreal Horse -
Swagger, Success and Secretariat
Silvan Tomkins, one of the pioneers of Body Language worked for a horse racing syndicate while in graduate school in the 1930's. Despite the fact that he did this during The Great Depression, he was able to make an impressive income and live "lavishly" on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Tomkins believed that the faces, body language and emotional history of any particular horse in different and specific contexts would be highly predictive of the horse's confidence and potential performance in a race. Tomkins was a genius at Body Language, particularly Facial Expression (Gladwell via Ekman). I wonder what he thought about Secretariat?
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is not known for her poker face. Here she displays two classic facial expressions. Can you describe them? Her mouth has taken on the classic morphology of moderate fear. Her lips are pulled outwards and down very tightly. The jaw is pulled backwards and her chin is wrinkled as well. Her neck muscles are also tightened. All of these are classic signs of fear.
Another facial signal that may accompany fear, but may also be present with other emotions - is her bilateral eye closure (eye blocking). This is a subconscious attempt by the mind to temporarily block the object of fear, contempt, disgust, etc. - as if to say, "If I close my eyes for a second, this may go away." The fact that even those who are born blind, still routinely exhibit this signal, speaks to the deeply rooted nature of body language.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
When a woman dangles her shoe on her toes as in this picture, this is always a sign of comfort with other the person(s) nearby and it is usually a sign of sexual interest. The foot is typically pointed at the person of her desire.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Who would you guess just won this recent Wimbledon tennis match? If this were in a corporate setting, who would you say is the CEO? If these two were political office holders, who would hold the higher ranking office? It probably doesn't surprise you that the answer would be the same for all three question. Here, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga just defeated Roger Federer in the quarter-finals at the 2011 Wimbledon Tournament. His hands-on gesture here is a dominance display allowed only for the winner, boss or senior in the pecking-order.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Rupert Murdoch's statement (at 1:12-1;16 in the video above): "...this is the most humble day of my life." - is demonstrative for several considerable insincerity tells. His forehead and brow expressions during this statement to the Parliamentary Committee were consistent with anger while his mouth shows evidence of what is referred to as "Duping Delight" (Paul Ekman). An example of duping delight in a microexpression can be seen at 5:06 in the video below (clustered with a bilateral brow flash and head tilt which in this setting indicates an incredulous and patronizing emotional mindset. There are multiple other microexpressions as well as subtle expressions of duping delight seen through Mr. Rupert Murdoch's testimony.
James Murdoch (Rupert's son) shows signs of considerable nervousness - both for himself and for his father. Notice how his eyelids (particularly his upper eyelids) are opened so widely. In this context, this is a clear demonstration of fear. In fairness, he could very well be in fear of being falsely accused - and the ramifications of such, but he feels considerable fear throughout much of his testimony.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Rupert Murdoch will be grilled next week in front a British Parliamentary Committee. One would expect that he'll be nervous. What about honest? Sincere? If you were one of those who will be be questioning him, would you be able to tell? Would you know exactly when to dig deeper? Are you sure? What do the position of Rupert's hands tell us here? In particular, what is the significance of his interlocked fingers? What does the configuration of his mouth, especially his lips mean? What does the position of his forehead tell you about his sincerity? What is his overall "Sincerity Quotient" in this photo?
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Fiero is a word coined by Italian Psychologist Isabella Poggi. It is a term which describes a unique emotion that is often seen after sporting events, but it's certainly not limited to athletic events alone. It is felt and seen after a difficult problem is overcome whether the obstacle is physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, etc. - and regardless of it's origin, once a significant problem is overcome and a great accomplishment is achieved, fiero is the name given to describe this emotion.
Fiero does not need an audience. It is not braggadocio in nature. We all can recall moments when we felt fiero and we were alone - but like all positive emotions it is much more enjoyable when shared.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, actress, singer and wife of France's President Sarkozy, is shown here in a configuration known as "Parallel Legs". When sitting, 85% of men feel this is the most attractive posture a woman can assume. It is a pose often taught in modeling classes. The contour formed when the legs press against each accentuates muscle tone and thus gives a more youthful appearance.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
This image of Johnny Depp is a great example of a Critical Evaluation Cluster (B. & A. Pease). A "Cluster" is when two or more body language signals occurring simultaneously or in a very short period of time (two or three seconds) - that when congruent with each other, is consistent with a very high degree of accuracy. Here, Mr. Depp's mouth is slightly tightened (mild anger), the entire width of his forehead is contracted (here, apprehensive/incredulous), while he is self-touching his right eye brow (here, anxiety associated with disbelief). In addition, Johnny is not looking directly at the person(s) to who(m) these emotions are directed. We don't look directly at those we don't like, don't respect or don't believe. Johnny Depp is one of the most respected and most liked actors of our time - but here he's not acting. Thanks for the lesson Mr. Depp.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Interestingly, the Princess is much less nervous. But what is more demonstrable on Charlene's face is a great example of a subtle contempt display (while the display is subtle, the contempt is considerable) - immediately followed by sadness.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Chicago Mayor (and former White House Chief-of-Staff) Rahm Emanuel and former President Bill Clinton are seen here at the Clinton Global Initiative American Conference. When another encroaches into our personal space, there is a very strong and visceral impetus to turn our eyes away. Obviously both men are looking away from each other in this photo. Particularly, during the moment of a handshake, eye contact is incredibly important in demonstrating sincerity, trust and building rapport. Anything that diminishes eye contact should be avoided. Of particular importance in this example, the lack of eye contact is a symptom of the diminished comfort felt when personal space is invaded. Being very aware of what makes others comfortable or uncomfortable requires a continuous mindset of empathy and a de-focusing on oneself. Simple in concept...difficult in implementation.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Secret # 702: Mouth of Fear, Trying to Smile and Forehead of Pain
Analysis # 2: Body Language of Blake Lively and Penn Badgley Strongly Suggests an Impending Break-up in Near Future
Nonverbal Communication Secret # 2091: Sincere Smiling (a la' Blake Lively) and Laughing Reduces Anxiety and Heart Rate, Boosts Immune System and Relieves Pain
Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2203: A Body Language Metric of Intimacy and Affection - How Do YOU cuddle?