Real-World crimes are interesting and necessary scenarios in which to evaluate body language. Although the camera angle is not optimal in the above video - and we cannot see the face of the assailant, some significant signals can be gleaned in this example.
Throughout much of this video, the assailant rocks back and forth - alternatively placing greater weight on one leg, then the other. This nonverbal dynamic signals high levels of excessive adrenaline and in common colloquial, this is one manifestation that he is burning off "nervous energy".
In body language parlance such facial touching is termed a Manipulator, Adaptor or Pacifier (aka MAP) and its multiple displays here are indicative of strong anxiety.
Facial touching No. 1 during 0:50 - 0:52
Facial touching No. 2 during 0:53 - 0:54
During 1:09 - 1:10 the perpetrator places his feet-legs in a much wider stance. This signals a high probability of an escalation of his attack.
Also at 1:10, just prior to his striking the attendant in the head with the hand gun, he rocks forward once (towards his victim) with his head and torso. This is a further signal of his intention to attack physically.
Facial Touching No. 3 during1:11 - 1:13
This episode interferes with his ability to fend off the store attendant (see next photo below).
The perpetrator's facial touching (as dictated by its cause of anxiety) prevents him from carrying out his plan and places himself at a significant disadvantage.
Although this store attendant was successful in disarming his attacker, his was a very unwise choice and the critique of this video is in no way is an endorsement of such action.
What other nonverbal displays did you note during this short video?
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