Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2495:
The White House, Josh Earnest, Egypt and a Coup -
Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




Josh Earnest, a White House spokesperson, spoke today about the administration's views on the merits of not referring to the recent military coup in Egypt as a coup. What follows is an analysis of some of his body language.

At 0:06 Josh Earnest exhibits a "Forward (Symmetrical) Lip Purse". A very telling nonverbal display and one particularly valuable in negotiations, this variety of lip purse is a strong signal for Clandestine Disagreement. Said another way, there is a significant difference between what is being said here and what is being experienced emotionally.

Those who display a forward lip purse perceive themselves to be an alpha personality relative to others in the room. Betas rarely make the lip purse - and if it is seen in such a setting, it signifies a potential power play that is not fully appreciated. It may be a room full of dishwashers or World leaders, but those whose lips configure in this manner believe they are in relative power - AND they have the resources to pull of their clandestine plan, idea or action.

This is a relatively tight forward lip purse. What is the significance of this vs. a loose lip purse?


At the 0:31 mark, Mr. Earnest displays a very short-lived cluster of facial expressions indicative of anger and contempt.

Note the lateral pulling back of both corners of his mouth. Along with the dramatic thinning and stretching of the lips - particularly the upper lip - and with a clenching of the jaw (masseter) muscles are together significant for a nonverbal cluster which is strongly consistent with anger.

The asymmetrical dilation of his nostrils (greater on his LEFT) is a significant body language tell for the emotion of contempt. Simultaneous with this is a upward vectoring of the "mustache area" between his (LEFT) upper lip and nose (thus resembling a one-sided "snarl") is a classic contempt expression (here a microexpression because of it's extremely brief duration). In addition a partial bilateral closure of the upper eyelids is significant for contempt and indeed is a contempt amplifier.

There are several other significant nonverbal signals displayed in this video. How many did you spot?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2333:  Sen. Rand Paul at 2013 CPAC -  Body Language & variations on the Lip Purse

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2447:  Johnny Depp Disagrees with  "The Lone Ranger" Director Gore Verbinski But He Won't Say It Aloud ...  Tonto's Body Language

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

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1060:  Belichick's Anger

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2410:  Grant Acord, Oregon Student Suspect in School Bomb Plot -  Body Language Warning Signals

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 457:  Salman Rushdie - and a Contempt Amplifier

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2312:  Bruce Willis' Body Language -  Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs.  Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile

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