Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2343:
Jodi Arias, the Courtroom and the
Body Language of Mirroring

Nonverbal mirroring behavior is performed primarily subconsciously when we're mentally and/or emotionally "in synch" with another. Couples who are in love mirror each other and business partners will also mirror when things are going well. It is a natural nonverbal outcome between those who have rapport. However the act of deliberately mirroring another person's body language, as long as it's not performed too exactly, too often or too closely in time - will also engender rapport and feelings of empathy. This requires significant nuance though - for if the other person catches on - then mirroring will back fire.

If Jodi Arias respects, likes or is of similar mindset with her attorney (Jennifer Willmott) - she would naturally mirror the lawyer. As some in this video point out, this body language behavior may indeed be a deliberate conscious act designed to add trust, authority and respect - in the eyes of the jury. Certainly the two women's clothes and hair style were chosen with such a strategy in mind.

Jodi Arias may indeed have serious psychological problems and she may also have murdered her former Travis Alexander in a premeditated fashion. However within the context of this video, Dr. Drew Pinksky is wrong regarding the merits of mirroring. He is being melodramatic for the purposes of ratings. The highly edited nature of this clip also gives us a false sense of how often mirroring occurs. Whether you believe Ms. Arias should be found guilty or be acquitted in the premeditated murder of her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander - in this particular context of legal defense, such body language mirroring as well as mirroring of clothing and hair style are very good tactics.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2323: Jodi Arias Murder Trial - The Body Language of Self-Contempt-Regret

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2336: Jodi Arias "Secret Video" Jury Will Not See -  Extremely Out of Context Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2196:  Cross Species Body Language  Contagious Yawning of Dogs Mirroring Humans  An Indicator of What Dog Lovers Already Knew -  Canine Empathy

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 801:  Julia Gillard, Barack Obama & Mirroring Down Under

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?

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Tip # 1239:  Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama and Iran 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2199: Thailand, Body Language, Barack Obama and Yingluck Shinawatra -  Mirroring and Foot Point