Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1890:
Eric Holder has (Emotional) Contempt toward Darrell Issa -
while Rep. Issa is Very Excited to be Seeking
"Contempt of Congress" against Holder

This is a short but very telling video of United States Attorney General, Eric Holder and Darrell Issa (R-CA) the Chairman of the House Oversight & Governmental Reform Committee. Representative Issa is seeking "Contempt of Congress" against Holder. He is willing to postpone a vote scheduled for tomorrow if the Attorney General turns over more documents regarding the botched "Fast and Furious" gun smuggling probe.

Not to be confused with the legal term, "Contempt of Congress", Holder has emotional contempt for Rep. Issa, who he believes is using his position for political motives. In this video, Holder shows subtle nonverbal displays of contempt toward the committee and its Chairman, Darrell Issa (0:09 - 0:10 on Holder's left and on his right side at 0:40 - 0:41). While these are not microexpressions, which must, by definition be less than 0.50 seconds in duration, they are evanescent and relatively subtle.

Representative Darrell Issa is overjoyed and excited to be in the political limelight. Note at several times he bounces on his feet (his shoulders bounce up and down very quickly - most notably at 0:53 and 1:04, and more subtly at 0:49, 0:50). This is a very strong signal of positive, excited emotional energy. Children do this often when they are anticipating a birthday party or exciting event. Adults do it as well however it is typically less conspicuous. It's is a fantastically reliable nonverbal tell. The congressman, for the moment of the interview keeps a straight and relatively "business-like" poker face - but his true emotions leak out if one knows what body language to look for ... Do you?