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


Monday, April 29, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2382:
Syrian Opposition Leader Ghassan Hitto -
Does His Body Language Betray Anxiety?
Or is it Hyperhidrosis?

Syrian Opposition Leader Ghassan Hitto is interviewed in this video by Holly Williams. Note throughout this interaction Mr. Hitto, an American Citizen, sweats profusely (even dripping onto his jacket). Primary Hyperhidrosis (a diagnosis of exclusion - when other medical causes of excessive perspiration have been ruled out) affects approximately 2.8% of the population. Said another way, a relatively small percentage of the population sweats a lot even if they are not nervous, it is not hot, if they don't have an underlying medical condition and if they are not exercising. Thus, if you're in the midst of a negotiation, sitting across from another person who displays excessive sweating - be aware that although it may indicate a nervous emotional tone - alone it is not a conclusive sign of anxiety. You must also see other signals of anxiety to be sure of this emotion. Mr. Hitto only displayed one MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) in this interview (What was it and what did its display indicate?). Ghassan Hitto's anxiety level was proportional to the context for a normal healthy individual in this scenario - and indeed many "leaders" would have been much more nervous than he (and displayed it) - given the gravity of the situation.

The finger wag exhibited in this video by the Syrian Opposition Leader, even though pointed up (pointed at Ms. Williams/audience/camera would have been even worse), is an ill-advised body language illustrator in almost any interview. Even though you may agree with his words and the sentiments he expresses here, Mr. Hitto's finger wag is a rapport destroyer and engenders patronizing and condescending sentiments towards those watching this interview. Leaders must believe in their cause (as he does and his sincerity quotient is indeed high) and show passion - while also winning over support of others (e.g., maintain your base and win over the centrists).

Hitto, like all of us, needs a balance of both alpha and beta body language. Knowing when and how to nuance your nonverbals to support your verbal message is important skill where many stumble. Too many otherwise experienced people rely on their autopilot in these situations - and an autopilot won't get you through a dogfight. Projecting a "hyper-alpha" personality, even momentarily, drives away many who otherwise would support your cause.

See also:

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 351:  Never let 'em See You Sweat

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1918:  Vladimir Putin - Pointing with Pen Surrogates  Sharp vs. Blunt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2149:  Losing Votes with the Double Index Finger Point - A Faux Pas Nearly Every Time

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2321:  Cardinal Timothy Dolan on "Face the Nation"  Problems in Catholic Church & Electing a New Pope  Clergy are Not Exempt from Body Language Tells ...

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 349:  Pointing with Two Fingers (or more)

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2360:  Bill Clinton and the Body Language of a  "Loose Hand, Palm Up Point

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1705:  François Hollande & the French Presidential Election  The Pistol Steeple and Emotional Dissonance


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2381:
Jessica Paré of Mad Men on Jimmy Fallon
Body Language of Mrs. Don Draper

Jessica Paré was recently a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Ms. Paré plays Megan Draper and wife of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) on AMC's "Mad Men". Early on Jimmy says, "...This, this is your first late night show?" and Jessica answers, "It is my very first. I'm really excited and a little terrified".

This image is captured at 0:17 seconds as Ms. Paré looks away from Fallon and takes on a nonverbal cluster of fear. As she said - she really is a little terrified. Her neck in particular shows a mild tenting-up of the skin at the juncture of her neck and jaw. This is a sign that the platysma muscle is mildly tightened and is highly characteristic for fear. The corners of Ms. Paré's mouth are also pulled backwards. In higher degrees of fear the corners are pulled back and downwards. The actress's eyelids are also opened wider than her normal baseline and her entire forehead muscle (inner and outer) is contracted - elevating her eyebrows. Again, this is an expression of mild fear. The eyelids would be open wider with greater levels of fear. The forehead would also be more furrowed and the eyebrows lower in more extreme fear. This is a great example of the subtle "neck of fear" and "mouth of fear" seen throughout the day in every business, law and medical office in every city. How many times have you missed this nonverbal at placed yourself at a disadvantage (but never realized it)?

This second image is classic embarrassment after Jessica describes her real-life mother performing imitations of her T.V. character - Mrs. Draper's "Zou Bisou Bisou" at family gatherings. Paré's body language displays a cluster of blushing, looking down and away, making a sincere smile/laugh, with a bilateral eyelid closure and covering her mouth.

What other body language of anxiety does Jessica Pare exhibit in this video?

Can you spot Jimmy's lie?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2122:  Eyes White and Wide - Three Body Language Examples with  Two Different Emotional Causes

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1829:  Dara Torres Interview with Piers Morgan - Embarrassment, Visual Recall, Sexual Anticipation Lip Biting & Sincerity Quotients

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2095:  Canoodling with the Weathergirl

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2159:  Tom Hanks drops the F-bomb on GMA - Body Language of Fear, Surprise, MAPs and a Bitter Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2344:  Jillian Michaels Body Language Neck of Fear & Mouth of Fear

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2261:  Mom pulls Python off of her 2 year old daughter - Body Language & Microexpression of Fear
Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2338:  Why Does Keit Pentus-Rosimannus feel Fear?  Body Language of Estonia's Minister of Environment


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2380:
Johnny Depp, The Lone Ranger & David Letterman
Tonto's Body Language

Most people feel that Johnny Depp is a fantastic actor. I certainly do. But he is still only human. The remake of "The Lone Ranger" will be released soon (3 July 2013) and Depp recently appeared on Late Night with David Letterman to promote the movie.

Depp really did not want to be there that night. Moreover his body language demonstrates that - at that moment - he did not like Letterman. When he sits down he crosses his left leg (closet to Letterman) over his right and his legs and feet are pointed away from his host. Ninety-five plus % of the time a guest will cross his or her leg the opposite way - the right over the left (towards host). And when the exception occurs, the guest will almost always compensate by shifting his/her torso, legs and feet so that they are pointed towards the host - but not in this case. In addition Captain Jack Sparrow's torso is only rotated slightly in David's direction. Letterman's desk (and chair on wheels) and the guest chairs are even configured in a mild arc to facilitate a natural "turning towards one another" posture (typical for any talk-show). We subconsciously turn our feet & legs towards those we respect or like (or in the context of romance, towards someone to whom we are sexually attracted). A big part of Depp's psyche did not want to be there - or did not like Letterman/something he had recently done.

Later in the night, after his friend and a second guest Bill Carter joins him on the set, Depp has grown more emotionally comfortable and crosses his legs the opposite way (towards Letterman) allowing a more natural and rapport facilitating positioning. This change is initiated by an increase in Johnny's emotional comfort - not his physical comfort.

Another telling nonverbal is revealed in this video just after David says, "...Thank you so much for being on the program. This is an exciting night ..." Immediately after this is spoken, Johnny shows us a partial mouth cover/mustache rub (0:31). This MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) is an anxiety signal and in this context it signals us that Letterman's statement of the "night's excitement" does not at all hold true in Depp's mind. Indeed he probably believes that Letterman is outright lying.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2284:  LeBron James in The White House - A Fundamental Body Language Mistake

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2150:  Body Language Advice for President Obama and Governor Romney in Tonight's Debate

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2152:  Second Presidential Debate - 16 October 2012 -  Barack Obama's Duping Delight -  Benghazi, Libya Attack was an "Act of Terror" - Alpha, Beta, Confidence & Acquiescence ....

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2195:  Sen. John McCain's Body Language when  Comparisons made between  Condoleezza Rice to Susan Rice &  War with Iraq to Benghazi, Libya Attack

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2369:  Pat Toomey Announces  Boston Marathon Bombings on Senate Floor - Body Language of Sincerity and Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2176:  James Carville's Body Language - Pennsylvania & Swing States

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2156:  Barack Obama's Body Language at Al Smith Charity Dinner -  Comedy, White Lies and Facial Touching MAPs


Friday, April 26, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2379:
Bill Clinton's Speech at the
George W. Bush Presidential Library Opening
Body Language of Former and Current President

Yesterday, the four living former U.S. Presidents as well as Barack Obama gathered on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas for the dedication of the George W. Bush Memorial Library and Museum. It was an intriguing sight to see them all together. Needless to say, there was a ton of great body language displayed. Below are some great examples of nonverbal behavior. These all can be viewed in dynamic context within the video above.

At the 0:11 mark, just after Bill Clinton lets the crowd know that Barbara Bush let him see some of George W. Bush's paintings - the former First Lady takes on the expression of fear - not knowing what he's about to say. This can be most easily seen in her mouth - with its corners pulling backwards and down. Mrs. Bush's eyes momentarily open wider too - most easily see in her left eye and when viewed in the video. A second after this, her expression morphs into a sincere smile when Clinton says that the paintings were great. While Mrs. Bush displays the high conventional steeple of confidence-alpha-assertiveness (and sometimes more), here it is forced (and more consciously initiated). Her subconscious displays of fear betray her (momentary) sincere feelings.

Here Bill Clinton can be seen biting his whole bottom lip (0:32 - 0:33 after another joke). This bite of the entire lower lip (as opposed to just one side) is a common nonverbal displayed to suppress a laughter or full smile display when they've made a good-natured, yet somewhat still mischievous joke. It's as if to say, "I've been a bad boy".

Clinton is also blushing in this photo.

This image was taken the moment after Bill Clinton pointed out to George Bush that, "...and you beat me to be a Grandfather". Despite the fact that he had been President for eight years, being a grandfather is a new experience. He is proud of this, yet another pointing it out before the World provokes anxiety. This self-preening tie adjusting (1:03 - 1:04) is a signal that Bush - an alpha male - is still human - and here he's "Dialing up his alpha" - ascending to the role of grandfather and yet feeling the extra weight of this responsibility and role. A common female analog of the male tie adjust (or the similar shirt cuff or wrist watch adjust) is the "Hair Adjust Behind Ear" or HABE.

Here after Clinton again calls attention to Barbara Bush, President Obama can be seen withdrawing his arm (1:34 - 1:37) which was just a moment before touching Mrs. Bush's upper back/shoulder in what is a breach of her personal space and a display of false affection. When Clinton addresses Barbara Bush, Obama's faux pas surfaces to his consciousness and he withdrawals his touch. Alpha personalities of all types, particularly men commit this nonverbal mistake all too often. They believe it is somehow a display of affection - however it is really a dominance display. And while the recipient may try to smile - emotions of discomfort are being felt and the corresponding body language is displayed elsewhere (can you spot it?).

Here Bush 43 can be seen sincerely smiling, blushing and although its dynamics can't be seen here in a still image, he's in the middle of a shoulder shrug (1:53), Bill Clinton just let us all know that during George W's second term, Bush would periodically call up Bill and talk politics. This embarrasses Bush who was apparently seeking advice from his predecessor. The shrug is as if to say, "...Well Ah shucks, sure I called up Bill, who wouldn't?" - yet he's quite embarrassed

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1499:  Bill Clinton's Empathy for Eric Fehrnstrom and  Mitt Romney ... What's Your Sincerity Quotient?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2128:  Mitt Romney's & Bill Clinton's Body Language  during Mitt's Joke at 2012 Clinton Global Initiative

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 441:  Bill Clinton's Rapport and His Temporary Universe

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2125:  Presidential Debate Body Language -  George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot 1992

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2306:  George W. Bush trapped in Room -  Body Language's Microexpression of Fear

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2131:  Presidential Debate Highlights on CBS -  Bush vs. Gore 2000  Gore's Invasion of Bush's Personal Space

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2150:  Body Language Advice for  President Obama and Governor Romney in Tonight's Debate


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2378:
Zubeidat Tsarnaev, Mother to
Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects
Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Her Body Language reveals ...

Zubeidat Tsarnaev the Mother of the Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects - Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev is featured in this short video interview where she says, "What happened is a terrible thing, but I know, that my kids have nothing to do with this. I know it. I'm mother. I have, I, you know, I, I know my own kids, I know my kids. I ... really my kids never get involved into anything like that."

Although she proclaims her sons' innocence, at multiple times she displays contempt - probably for those who committed the crime. One of these moments is captured in the image below. Note her dramatic mouth asymmetry (although the nonverbal sign of mouth asymmetry can indicate other emotions). Her lip is curled up in a snarl and her right nostril is simultaneously dilated. The area between the upper lip and the nose is also tightened. This is a strong nonverbal cluster indicating she feels sincere contempt - probabaly for those who bombed the Boston Marathon

Later in the video (during 0:11 - 0:17) Ms. Tsarnaev with her right hand (most probably her hand of dominance) touches her full palm to her upper chest (a heartfelt "Palmar Touch" over sternum and left chest). Her right hand (which is holding what looks like a phone) is placed on top of it as she also displays two prolonged eyelid closures (0:13 & 0:14) as she says, "... I'm mother. I have, I, you know, I, I know my own kids, I know my kids. I ...". The cluster of body language she displays here is significant for a high sincerity quotient here as well

Of course sincerity is about belief, feelings and communicating truth - and here the "truth" for her is what she perceives it to be. Ms. Tsarnaev is not lying if her thoughts, feelings, nonverbals and her words are congruent - and in this video they are. She loves her sons. And she sincerely believes that they are not the perpetrators of the bombings.

Ms. Tsarnaev is feeling other emotions as well. What are these and what other corresponding body language do you see here?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2373:  We Feel Contempt towards  Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev - What Does His Body Language Reveal? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2372:  Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects -  A Common Pre-Crime Body Language Pattern

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2375:  Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and a  Body Language False Positive

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2191:  Anne Hathaway's Impersonation of Katie Holmes on SNL -  "Norming" Katie and Variations on a Theme

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2323:  Jodi Arias Murder Trial  The Body Language of Self-Contempt-Regret

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2207:  Body Language, Sincerity and Mahmoud Abbas  United Nations grants Palestine "Nonmember Observer State"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2275:  Lance Armstrong's Insincerity -  Body Language revealed in Oprah Winfrey Interview  Part III


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2377:
Coachella 2013 & Lie Witness News
Hilarious and a Valuable Body Language Lesson

This is a hilarious video - but it's also very instructive. Jimmy Kimmel's "Lie Witness News" interviews several people at Coachella 2013 about their opinions of Bands that were completely fabricated. All of those interviewed in this video are lying of course. The chances of convincingly pulling off a deception are roughly proportional to the consequences of getting caught in the lie(s). In small lies (aka white lies), most can act the lie well. However, if the ramifications are more serious, pulling of the lie is much more difficult.

There are several signals of lying displayed in this video - but I'd like to concentrate on a particular nonverbal display which is seen clearly on two different individuals - that of the central forehead contraction (CFC) WITH a smile. When these two tells are seen simultaneously or clustered very closely in time (temporal clustering) with rare exception - it signals insincerity, incredulity or arrogance. Everyone makes such a facial expression occasionally, however if it seen chronically (about on 4 - 5% of individuals) it signals narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathic tendencies or worse. 

Most commonly the central forehead contraction is seen in the presence of pain (either emotional or physical pain) being experienced directly or felt indirectly (via empathy) for another person, group or animal(s). Congruent with this facial component body language, the mouth takes on the configuration of pain, fear or sadness in these emotional contexts. However when there is no emotional or physical pain present - empathy is not being felt - something else is .....

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1912:  Ann Curry's Tearful Goodbye  & Matt Lauer's Insincerity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2259:  Game Show Killer Rodney Alcala Gets Two More Sentences - His Body Language Warning Signs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis #1516:  Ozzie Guillen Apology, his "Sincerity Quotient" &  Fidel Castro

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1439:  Central Forehead Contraction & Inward Lip Roll  Devon Davis & April Davis

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2310:  Oscar Pistorius' Body Language in Court - Part II  Central Forehead Contraction, Frown & Pupil Dilation ...

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2124:  This Body Language-Facial Display Should always make you think "Insincere"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2335:  Ted Cruz & Dianne Feinstein - Gun Control, Body Language and Condescending Signals


Monday, April 22, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2376:
Reese Witherspoon's Arrest & Mug Shot
Her Body Language Reveals ....

Reese Witherspoon was arrested along with her husband last Friday in Atlanta, Georgia. Jim Toth, a Hollywood agent, was charged with DUI (blood alcohol level was 0.139), while the Academy Award winning actress was booked with disorderly conduct for which she later apologized.

In her mug shot seen here - what is most obvious to most is her lack of eye contact - and downward directed head, neck and eyes. These are all directed down and to her right - the direction most right-hand dominant people look during significant levels of sadness. This is consistent with shame and emotionally processing a significant event - both of which are being expressed in this moment. She may be blushing as well, although it is difficult to tell.

What has been misinterpreted here is what many people would call a "smirk" or a "partial smile". Note her mouth's dramatic asymmetry. This is not a suppressed smile - but a manifestation of contempt. And although the actress may have earlier felt a good deal of contempt towards the officer who arrested her, in the moment of this photo Reece's contempt is probably self-directed - mixed with the emotion of regret. In regret-self-contempt, the corner of the mouth takes on more of an lateral vector along with significantly less nostril flaring vs. contempt felt towards another person or group (although detail of Witherspoon's nose is difficult to visualize in this low resolution) where the mouth and cheek muscle are directed more upwards and with more nasal flaring. The forward tilt of her head & neck gives the left corner of her mouth a false appearance of more upward curvature.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2323: Jodi Arias Murder Trial - The Body Language of Self-Contempt-Regret

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2059:  Musharraf has Contempt towards Pakistan's Intelligence Agency

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2172:  Governor Chris Christie's Body Language of Contempt -  Microexpressions and Subtle Displays

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2350:  Contempt - both dramatic and subtle - Backpedaling and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2373:  We Feel Contempt towards  Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev - What Does His Body Language Reveal?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2178:  Little Girl Tells Pippa Middleton, "I Hate Princesses"  Pippa's Body Language of Contempt ...

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1407:  Auboni Champion-Morin  Reunited with Kidnapped Son After 8 Years -  Microexpression of Contempt towards kidnapper


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2375:
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and a
Body Language False Positive

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was featured this morning on "Face the Nation". He spoke about the recent bombings during last Monday's Boston Marathon as well as the man hunt for the now killed and captured suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev

At multiple times during the above video, Governor Patrick's left forehead contracts, while his right forehead is either hypo-reactive or shows essentially no reaction at all. An example of one of these moments is captured in the image below. A casual observer and/or body language novice may very well FALSELY interpret this as a nonverbal signal of: incredulity, contempt, an insincere smile or duping delight. However none of these emotions nor their nonverbals are present here. This FALSE expression is due to a (peripheral) Facial Nerve (Cranial Nerve VII) palsy on Patrick's right side. When all other causes are ruled out (aka a "Diagnosis of Exclusion") this diagnosis is termed "Bell's Palsy". 

Additional findings which support the diagnosis of a right-sided peripheral cranial nerve VII palsy is the relative lack of muscular tone in the Governor's right cheek muscles (zygomaticus major and to a lesser extent the zygomaticus minor). Contrast this contraction with that of his left cheek and it's decreased tone.

Moreover when the corners of Deval's mouth are scrutinized, you will note the right upper lip & corner slopes downward - while his left upper lip & mouth corner slopes steeper (an indication of greater muscle tone) and meets with lip meets the corner in a delta-shaped dimpling. The left "mustache area" shows more muscle tone compared to the right. Again these are manifestations of a right-sided Facial nerve palsy. 

Of course, Deval Patrick will feel and thus display the body language of disbelief, contempt, duping delight and an insincere smile - just as any other human being. However one must be meticulously observant and take the time to establish a norm (normal baseline behavior) before an accurate and unbiased nonverbal assessment can be made. I cannot find any reference to this palsy with Governor Patrick. Perhaps it is a recent ailment or my search was incomplete. However, he would be well-advised to make such an announcement to the press if he has not already done so.

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1267:  John McCain, Sarah Palin and Bell's Palsy

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2191:  Anne Hathaway's Impersonation of Katie Holmes on SNL -  "Norming" Katie and Variations on a Theme

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1919:  The Asymmetrical Smile - we all use this Body Language ....  but Mitt Romney displays it too often 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2356:  Michelle Obama's "as a Busy Single Mother" comment -  What her Body Language Tells Us 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis #2292:  Mercedes Benz CLA Super Bowl Commercial "Soul"  Willem Dafoe's Body Language as the Devil 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2264:  Kate Middleton's First Portrait as Duchess of Cambridge  Captures Body Language of  Contempt, Disapproval and Fatigue

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2373:  We Feel Contempt towards  Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev - What Does His Body Language Reveal? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2372:  Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects -  A Common Pre-Crime Body Language Pattern

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2369:  Pat Toomey Announces  Boston Marathon Bombings on Senate Floor - Body Language of Sincerity and Empathy


Saturday, April 20, 2013

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

In the everyday world, it is common for people to be experiencing two (sometimes competing) emotions simultaneously. This phenomenon is known as emotional dissonance. Yesterday, Tom Cruise appeared on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" to promote his new movie "Oblivion". In the above video Cruise provides a great example of emotional dissonance. Near the end of this clip, when Fallon reveals a "raw egg challenge" for Cruise - Katie Holmes' ex shows us three rapidly overlapping nonverbal displays. These are highlighted in the images below:

Beginning at 5:28,
just after Jimmy says, "... raw egg ..." Tom's jaw juts out. This is a strong and reliable signal of anger. We also can see an inward lip roll (ILR). The inward lip roll is one body language signal our subconscious reveals when it is trying to prevent the outward display of emotions. While the ILR is usually associated with negative emotions, it is also often seen when a smile and/or laughter is being suppressed.

A few seconds later, we see Cruise's Jaw still jutting out - with the inward lip roll (ILR) from a front/oblique view. Cruise is experiencing two emotions during the moment of this image. While his jaw jut continues to display anger, he is also displaying a sincere, but suppressed smile. Search your memory you probably can recall being angry and laughing at the same time. The most telling signal of Cruise's sincere smile is his partially closed eyes with a dynamic lower lid, concave-up furrow - which is ALWAYS required if the smile is sincere. The actor's forehead is also relaxed - also an absolute during a true smile. Tom's mouth however is not open - consistent with his jaw jut & inward lip roll; however if you look at his cheek muscles, they are bunched up (contracted) - which contributes to and coexists with the eyelid changes of a sincere smile.

Here, the jaw jut is waning as is the inward lip roll - although they both can still be seen. Cruise's suppressed mile is still very evident as well. This image is captured during a prolonged lid closure and is one body language signal of emotional processing. This is a sign that although the intellect understands - the emotional brain is still playing catch-up and trying to grasp the situation.

See also:

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

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 47:  Jaw Jut and Mid-face Tightening - Pete Carroll

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2268:  Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Kathryn Bigelow & Jessica Chastain - Body Language at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2365:  Lindsey Vonn & Tiger Woods -  Body Language at the Masters

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2210:  Body Language Signaling of an Attempt to Control Emotional Escalation & Display - The Inward Lip Roll

Flirting and Romance Secret # 39:  Cameron Diaz & Tom Cruise - Affectionate vs. Non-Affectionate Hug

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1916:  Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise are getting a Divorce -  What Body Language Metric could have Predicted this  Back When They Were Dating?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1921:  Who was More Dominant -  Tom Cruise or Katie Holmes?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2332:  Instinctive Body Language, Comforting an Infant & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2327:  What is meant by "Eye Contact"?  A Body Language Fundamental


Friday, April 19, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2373:
We Feel Contempt towards
Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev
What Does His Body Language Reveal?

At the time of this post, Dzhokar Tsarnaev is reportedly surrounded by police in Watertown, Massachusetts. His older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout last night. The two are suspects in the Boston Marathon Bombings earlier this week.

Update 2112 hours EST, 19 April 2013 - Suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is alive and in custody.

We certainly feel contempt towards these brothers and their actions - but what do the nonverbal clues displayed in this image reveal about Dzhokar Tsarnaev's emotions? Most beginners and even some with a fair amount of experience in body language will say that in this image, the younger Tsarnaev's expression is consistent with contempt. Two particular characteristics that would make many think this is his left nostril appears to be flared and his lids are partially closed.

If we look at older photos of Dzhokar Tsarnaev however - we see his eyelids are all partially closed more so than normal. He has longstanding "droopy eyelids" - probably since birth and medically this is classified as "congenital ptosis" (born with droopy eyelids). In addition, his downward gaze naturally engenders a further closing of his upper eyelids. Thus when a person feels and displays contempt (as well as disgust and mild-moderate anger), it is natural and expected for the eyelids to partially close (think classic Clint Eastwood here - particularly for an anger example). But since Dzhokar Tsarnaev has congenital ptosis - this steers us to a false conclusion (and for those who have congenital ptosis, this is one reason very valid to get cosmetic surgery). Most body language sources don't discuss this "contempt amplifier" component of partial eyelid closure with regards to disgust or contempt - or the false positive signals of congenital ptosis may send - but they are all very important issues when assessing this negative nonverbal expression.

The camera angle also makes Tsarnaev's left nostril look dilated. This is another false positive. A flared (dilated) nostril is a crucial component in the expression of contempt. Yet this is another false positive. Thus although we feel strong contempt towards Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev - if indeed these alleged perpetrators are guilty, and because we feel such strong empathy and compassion for those who have suffered in the bombings and subsequent associated crimes - we are naturally biased to see negative expression on his face. This image does not display contempt - rather it is a neutral expression.


This is not a political post or an opportunity to rant (nor are any of mine). Rather it is a forum for teaching body language/nonverbal communication. After all, it's a great exercise in objectivity to do one's best - when we look at those whose actions/alleged actions we despise (as we all do) without strong bias. Human beings see what we want to see. Guarding against such tendencies makes us better stewards in any society that values fairness and justice

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2372:  Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects - A Common Pre-Crime Body Language Pattern

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2369:  Pat Toomey Announces  Boston Marathon Bombings on Senate Floor -  Body Language of Sincerity and Empathy 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2228:  Jay Carney's Body Language - Contempt disguised as a Sniff .... for Republicans' Solutions to the Fiscal Cliff

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1890:  Eric Holder has (Emotional) Contempt toward Darrell Issa -  while Rep. Issa is Very Excited to be Seeking  "Contempt of Congress" against Holder

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2350:  Contempt - both dramatic and subtle -  Backpedaling and Body Language

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2191:  Anne Hathaway's Impersonation of Katie Holmes on SNL -  "Norming" Katie and Variations on a Theme


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2372:
Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects -
A Common Pre-Crime Body Language Pattern

Today the FBI released video (above) and images (below; for more & higher resolutions photos please visit the FBI site) of the suspects in the Boston Marathon Bombings. As is displayed here, a common nonverbal pattern often seen just prior to the committing of a crime is walking in single file. If these two suspects pictured here are indeed perpetrators, this could of course be an attempt at deliberate disassociation. However there is an additional strong subconscious ideology which contributes to this body language pattern - as it is seen across many crime scenarios. It is particularly common in moments prior to robberies when the soon-to-be criminals walk in a store in a rapid, single file manner rather than the semi-shoulder to shoulder configuration or some close similar approximation which friends routinely adopt. Keep this in mind when assessing for threats. A few seconds could save your life.

See also:


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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

Today the U.S. Senate voted down a bill that would have acted to expand background checks prior to the purchase of a gun. Subsequently President Obama gave a speech in the Rose Garden. Above is a video clip from that speech. At the 0:23 second mark he begins, "...Ninety percent of the democrats in the Senate voted for that idea. But it's not going to happen. Because ninety percent of republicans in the Senate just voted against that idea." Just after this segment, during the 0:35 - 0:37, the President's facial expression is highly indicative of anger-frustration.

This particular body language seen at this moment has several components centered around the mouth-jaw-lips-chin and the tissue adjacent to the lips. Clenching the jaw is a nonverbal which is highly consistent with anger. The masseter muscles which close the jaw can be seen contracting here. The Presidents lips also grow very thin as the tissue is stretched in a straight horizontal line - this is also very indicative and highly reliable sign of anger. In addition Mr. Obama's lips also are rolling inwards - however unlike the conventional and completely expressed "Inward Lip roll" (ILR) - due to his tightly closed jaw, the lips cannot be fully "rolled in"; subsequently the tissue adjacent to his lips, particularly his lower lip gets "bunched up" (peri-lip bulge). Another finding here is a bit more difficult to see, but even though this video and image below are not high definition, a dynamic wrinkling-dimpling of the skin on his chin can still be visualized.

The President's eyebrows are also pulled together and down - a signal of anger which is recognized by most people if prompted. However most people are fully present enough and are not observant enough to look for this nonverbal.

Much less recognized is the slight narrowing of the distance between the President's upper and lower eyelids and a coexisting tightening of the eyelid muscles, the orbicularis oculi (pars palpebralis) - most easily seen on the lower eyelids.

This video, like most, is chocked-full of body language - but just looking at POTUS's mouth-lips-jaw-chin we see four nonverbal configurations clustered together and are strong indicators of anger-frustration.

See also:

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2247:  Barack Obama's Body Language on Meet the Press  "That was the worst day of my Presidency"

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

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

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1465: Santorum's Anger Eyes - White and Wide  Confrontation with Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 273:  Anger and Disgust in Azerbaijan

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1858:  What the Eyes Do - Transitioning from Mild to Severe Anger


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2370:
Donald Trump on David Letterman -
A Body Language Signal of Arrogance and Narcissism

Donald Trump appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman about three weeks ago. Throughout much of the interview (in above video), Trump's default hand position was a "Conventional Low Steeple" (pictured below). This hand configuration should be used very sparingly - just for a second or two - and essentially choreographed into the speech or conversation at moments of particularly important points. In such cases it projects power, assertiveness and an alpha personality. However most people who use this body language end up over-using it and thus it sends signals of arrogance and condescension. So when it's used excessively or even moderately this nonverbal backfires and is patronizing - and is also highly correlated with narcissistic personality disorder.

If you're a CEO, billionaire or leader of any kind, projecting arrogance and hyper-alpha attitudes do not work in your favor. Everyone know you can fire them, buy them or intimidate them - thus adopting body language of rapport rather than one which builds walls will get you to your goal more effectively.

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1503:  The Conventional Steeple vs. The Basketball Steeple -  Seeking a Balance

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 901:  The Over-used Steeple - Angela Merkel and the Backfire in Berlin

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2063:  Mitt Romney and Ed Miliband - Under Used and Backfiring Uses of Hands

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2102:  The Self-Righteous Head Wiggle and the Conventional Steeple vs.Basketball Steeple

Negotiation Secret # 277:  The Conventional Steeple:  Use it on Rare Occasions and in Small Doses

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 771:  Many Signals Steeple on the Super Committee

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1811:  Jamie Dimon - the Day Before Announcement of  JPMorgan Chase's $2 Billion Loss