Friday, June 28, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2444:
George Zimmerman Trial
Jonathan Good - Eyewitness Testifies regarding
The Last Seconds of Trayvon Martin's Life
(Video, Photos)

Jonathan Good, a neighbor and eyewitness testified today in George Zimmerman's trial in the death of Trayvon Martin. Below is an analysis of some nonverbal signals from today's trial.  

At 0:13 Mr. Good displays a subtle but significant "Suppressed Smile". This occurred as a recording of him speaking with the 911 operator describing a shot he had just heard behind his house was played in court. At first, in this context a smile - or a suppressed smile may seem unusual and out of context for a murder trial. However, it may very well be that Mr. Good feels notoriety and a momentary smugness that his testimony will be highly instrumental in this case. He also knows his testimony will be seen by many online, on television, etc. 

What is the difference between a suppressed smile and "Duping Delight"?

Only a few seconds later, at 0:16, Mr. Good's expression changes. As if in self-reflection - he displays a distinct expression of "Regret" for his immediately previous thoughts (related to his emotions experienced during the above noted suppressed smile). Although it looks very similar, do not mistake this nonverbal with contempt.

 Of particular distinction here is the primarily lateral movement of Mr. Good's left mouth corner. In contrast the mouth corner of contempt has a distinctive upward/vertical vector.

At 0:42, as the same recording is playing, Mr. Good displays a regret display once more as he listens to the recording. This occurs at the split second he hears himself say "dead".

There are other regret displays at 0:15-0:16, 0:17 and 0:21.

 Mr. Zimmerman is breathing deep and at an increased rate - 27 breaths per minute. Without knowing what is his baseline normal rate we cannot say how elevated it is for him - however this value is significantly elevated above normal for age. In this context this is a nonspecific indicator of generalized anxiety.

Trayvon Martin's mother, Gladys Martin's respiration is 28 breaths per minute - also significantly above normal.

Do you see any other evidence for a suppressed smile?

What other body language tells do you see?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2050:  George Zimmerman's Interview on Fox -  Microexpression of Contempt and  Duping Delight

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1897:  George Zimmerman's Reenactment of  Trayvon Martin Shooting

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2411:  Zimmerman's Attorney, Mark O'Mara's -  Body Language Faux Pas in Court

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1696:  George Zimmerman's Testimony -  Fear, Incredulity, Regret & Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1548:  Trayvon Martin's Death -  George Zimmerman and his First Court Appearance

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1697:  George Zimmerman in Shackles -  How does this Alter His Body Language, Testimony and Our Perception?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2216:  Senator Jim DeMint's Body Language -  Lip Purse, Suppressed Smile, Duping Delight & Retiring Early

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2414:  Sen. John McCain after his Trip to Syria -  Body Language of Regret and Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2323:  Jodi Arias Murder Trial  The Body Language of Unilateral Regret vs. Contempt