Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2164:
Mitt Romney's Disgust Display regarding
President Obama's Relationship with Putin and Russia -
".... I'll give you more flexibility after the election ...."

During the third U.S. Presidential Debate earlier this week, Mitt Romney displayed a great example of a "Microexpression of Disgust" when in speaking of how he would interact with Vladimir Putin and Russia - in retort to President Obama he said, ".... and I'm certainly not going to say to him, '...I'll give you more flexibility after the election ...' ...." (A disgust microexpression is seen very briefly at the 2:56 mark coincident with Romney's words "...I'll give..."). Obama actually said something similar to this to Dmitry Medvedev - the then President of Russia - not Putin. Microexpressions are initiated in the subconscious and thus involuntary. They are extremely brief facial displays which betray our true emotions - lasting no more than 1/15 of a second. Microexpressions are ubiquitous and are not influenced by culture, age, religion, socioeconomics and ethnicity or even if a person is born blind. 

Romney's nostrils flared as his mid-face (mustache area and around the lower nose) tightened. His eyebrows were lowered (but not drawn together which is seen in anger) as his upper lip raises. Notice also that for a split second his forehead muscles relaxed and his forehead becomes relaxed - also characteristic of disgust. Romney's eyelids also partially (mostly) momentarily close coinciding with a quick increase in "crow's feet". All this occurred in less than a fifteenth of second. Disgust here, but in other scenarios - joy, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, contempt ..... Extremely often words will say one thing and body language will say another.

Very few people (about 1 in 300 or so) can sense microexpressions and for the most part, intuit their meanings without training (termed "naturals" by Paul Ekman) - however nearly everyone can be trained to spot them and accurately interpret their meanings. The ability to recognize these and other nonverbals is an extremely valuable skill anytime there are high-stakes face-to-face interactions. Most people are missing these and other body language signals all around them.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2155: Body Language Tells at the Second Presidential Debate - Mitt Romney at Attention & President Obama's Disapproval-Subtle Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1889: Vladimir Putin's & Barack Obama's Body Language at the G-20

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 110: Dmitry Medvedev - Hands Clasped in Front of Mouth

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 703: Putin Pulling his Puppet

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2081: Vladimir Putin - to Diss a Kiss - Russian Rebuff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1918: Vladimir Putin Pointing with Pen Surrogates - Sharp vs. Blunt & Correlation with Facial-Body Language Expressions

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2045: Disgust in New Delhi

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1841: Disgust in Response to Rep. Barney Frank's "Hoodie" Joke 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1496: Tiger Woods' Disgust, Body Language & Biofeedback

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2161: Body Language of the Third Presidential Debate - Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - What Did They Do With Their Hands When They Weren't Talking?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2152: Second Presidential Debate - Barack Obama's Duping Delight - Benghazi, Libya Attack was an "Act of Terror" - Alpha, Beta, Confidence & Acquiescence