Monday, April 23, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1600:
Senator Marco Rubio -
Sincerity, Self-directed Incredulity & Humor, Blocking and Appeals for the Vice Presidency

This is a funny and yet instructive video. In the first segment, Senator Marco Rubio says, "...three, four, five, six, seven years from now - if I do a good job as Vice President ..." The Senator then immediately realizes his mistake. At the 0:07 mark, Senator Rubio displays a classic microexpression of incredulity - showing us a glimpse into his emotional mind - for he is in disbelief at what he just said. His left forehead and left eyebrow both elevate - while the right side of Mr. Rubio's face remains unchanged. This evanescent body language lasts less than 0.5 of a second.
During the 0:07 - 0:11 segment, Senator Rubio then reaches out and touches the forearm of his interviewer. While virtually all politicians violate others' personal space and indeed touch too much - thus destroying rapport more than building it - particularly during variations of the political handshake - Rubio's touch here is one of high sincerity. The psyche (via his hand) is literally "reaching out" in an effort to try and retrieve his mistake. When people touch in a deliberate and delayed fashion however, it demonstrates that consciousness is most likely directing their actions. The Senator's gesture occurred very quickly though - and in this context it shows us his subconscious was in charge.

Marco Rubio's subconscious is honest - as is yours.

Additionally Rubio's laugh and smile are very sincere - his eyes are closed or nearly so (with the required concave-up crescent present in both lower lids) after misspeaking. Also, only Marco's upper teeth are visible - another touchstone of authenticity. His eyelids demonstrate an extended closure too - which is common after misspeaking in a public forum. In such settings, this nonverbal indicates sincere embarrassment and the emotional processing of an event.
Marco Rubio noticeably blushes as well - and of course such body language can't be feigned. The freshman Senator just won over some more constituents - for humor, particularly when sincere and self-deprecating, humanizes us all.