Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2180:
Nearly Ran Over by a Train?
Schrödinger's Dog, Signal of Emotional Overload, Loss and
Extreme Emotional Processing

In this video, first seen at 0:08 - 0:10 and the same segment again in slow motion at 0:13 - 0:18, look carefully at the man on the side of the railroad tracks. His hands are holding the sides of his head with full palmar contact overlapping each ear and the area just above - the temple region. A nearly identical nonverbal is seen on the battle field during the act of surrender as well as at crime scenes during arrests. These are slower and more deliberate gestures and can be considered to be body language "emblems". However these scenarios mimic the more rapid losses and feared-losses witnessed during a sudden negative turn on the sporting field - and the more injurious, life threatening and fatal events such as those shown above.

The narrator of this CNN video says, " ... no one knows if the dog made it or not ....", but in the brief seconds leading up to this (by us) unknown ending, the man's body language (let's call him Mr. Schrödinger) signals us that he's in a sensory overloaded state wherein he's trying to emotionally processes the rapid and potential very serious events he's witnessing. If we could see his face - it would be displaying classic fear signals with his eyes open very widely, his teeth tightly clenched with the corners of his mouth pulled back and down.

In the next instant if Mr. Schrödinger's dog was killed - his hands would rapidly cover his eyes and mouth. If the Dog lived - his hands would cover his heart and sternum with full palmar touch.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1490: Kansas Surrenders

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2067: Leryn Franco's Arms and Missed Opportunity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 21: A Classic Emblem from Cristiano Ronaldo 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 375: Emotional Pain & Physical Pain