Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2136:
Some Body Language Highlights from
First Obama - Romney Presidential Debate in Denver

This is but one of many highlights clips of the first of three Presidential Debates of this election year. There are some interesting nonverbal tells in this video - and here are a few:

It's a well-documented characteristic of any Presidential debate that the blink rate of the participants increases significantly. A Crescendo in the rate of blinking indicates a heightened level of anxiety - and/or deception. It is certainly understandable to be anxious during any debate - particularly a presidential one. At various times during this video we can see both candidates blink rate are dramatically increased. It's important to compare blinking during these (or any suspected) times to the blink rate earlier and later in the conversation - and even (in the same person) to different settings on different days. If the blink rate is indeed increased, there is a solid reason to suspect increased anxiety or worse.

At the end of the debate, each of the candidates give their closing statements - in part captured here during  2:58 - 3:24 Note how Mitt Romney repeatedly elevates up on his toes - even through his feet or lower any part of his lower extremities are not visible here, we can see his shoulders jutting up repeatedly. Mitt's adrenaline is flowing and he's elated regarding his performance and it's manifesting as if he's a little boy before Christmas. This spontaneous "up on toes" maneuver is a subconscious display of excitement.

Mitt Romney is showing us his self-critique - and he thinks he hit a home run.

See also: