Monday, December 3, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2211:
David Beckham, Body Language signals of
Honest Surprise, Emotional Processing and Sincerity

In this video from earlier this year at the London Summer Olympics, David Beckham (who just played his last match with the LA Galaxy helping them win the 2012 MLS Cup) provokes shows some great body language examples of several primary emotions.

David Beckham is surprising people in a photo booth. True surprise is very evanescent. The full expression is thus relatively rarely captured in an image. Freeze frame at 1:08. The woman in the middle exemplifies the expression of surprise fully. Her very widely opened eyes along with her equally widely opened and vertically elongated oval-shaped mouth are highly characteristic of sincere surprise. Rapid mouth covering seen here as well is also a nonverbal signal of surprise as well as emotionally processing. The intellectual mind knows something has happened - yet the emotional mind is in a sort of momentary denial and playing catch up. When you see this occur rapidly after the wide mouth and eye opening - it's a telltale sign of sincerity and sometimes empathy.

The young boy and his mother towards the beginning of the video show addition signals of sincerity with a full palm contact touching of the sternum (0:26 - 0:30) and the left chest (0:35 - 0:39). When the palm makes contact in this context - it signals "heart felt" sincerity. Many people feign this emotion with the nonverbal MAP (manipulator, adaptor, pacifier) of finger-tip only contact or unwittingly touching the right side of the chest - where they are "heart-less".

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2170: The San Francisco Giants, Surprise, Bird Poop and Body Language