Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2346:
Texas Shootout & Colorado Killer Suspect Evan Ebel -
Body Language of a Determined Emotional Mindset

Evan Ebel, the man who is suspected of killing Colorado Prison System Chief, Tom Clements and who himself was killed in a shootout two days later in northern Texas, is shown here in a prison photograph associated with a prior offense. Today it was disclosed that Ebel had bomb making materials in his car at the time of his death.

From a body language point of view, there is one particular feature here which is very common to such "mug shots". Note his head is slightly tilted back with his "nose in the air". Such turned up noses are often associated with and accurately indicate the emotion of arrogance. However another emotion with which this body language-facial expression is associated - and often not appreciate, is that of a determined mind. Of course this emotional display is oft displayed in the noncriminal as well. It is exceedingly common within the context of sports. If you were arrested or engaged on the field of athletic competition, a determined mindset is very necessary for "survival" - whether literal or metaphorical.

How often do you see this (or other) facial expression and misinterpret it as arrogance? Do you know what body language signals will allow you to discriminate between these two emotions?