Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2383:
Elizabeth Colbert Busch vs. Former Gov. Mark Sanford
Body Language in Last Night's Debate

Last night Elizabeth Colbert Busch (Steven Colbert's sister) squared off against former Gov. Mark Sanford in their first and only debate for the U.S. House of Representative Seat for South Carolina's1st Congressional District. Some of the highlights are captured in the video above.

One moment in particular that is very illustrative from a body language perspective. Towards the end of this clip as Ms. Colbert Bush says, ".... I'm a fiscally conservative, independent, tough business woman ...." During this statement, Ms. Colbert-Busch shows several signals of anger. At the 2:32 mark in particular as she says "... independent ..." she shows a dramatic flash of anger that is very brief but just a bit longer than a microexpression. This nonverbal is fairly dramatic as her center eyebrows (only right side visible) moves downwards as her upper eyelids open wider. Her nasal flaring is dramatic and very telling as well. In addition, Ms. Colbert-Busch's jaw juts outward which is very easy to see in this side view (note her lower teeth are further forward than her upper teeth). A jaw jut is a signal significant of high levels of anger. Her lips are also pulled back tightly - significantly bearing both here upper and lower teeth - also very significant for anger.

Of course, this is not the entire debate, but in most other political settings this anger display would be ill-advised, however with Sanford's specific history it probably will result in a win.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2039:  Fight Outside Florida Courtroom -  Jaw Jut Prior to Violence

Negotiation Secret # 315:  Jaw Jut - Heightened Potential for Violence

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2374:  Tom Cruise on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Body Language of Emotional Dissonance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1859:  The Prince is Angry at the Queen's Jubilee

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2138:  President Obama's Anger-Frustration During Debate -  An Under-Appreciated Body Language Signal

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1863:  Sharapova's Lips of Anger

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2371:  Barack Obama & Anger in the Rose Garden -  POTUS's Body Language & the Gun Laws