For the last day or so, the big political scandal-related question in the U.S. has been, did Governor Chris Christie orchestrate lane closures on the George Washington Bridge - or did he cover-up these actions initiated by his subordinates? The answer is No. Governor Christie neither ordered the lane closures nor is he lying or covering up for others.
Chris Christie gave a press conference this morning (video excerpt above) and although he did display some relatively small signs of anxiety (very normal for context) and other nonverbal tells (e.g., The Governor is definitely running for President in 2016), the New Jersey republican is telling the truth. There were no signs of deception in this press conference.
This analysis, as all body language evaluations should be, does not have political or other agenda. Nonverbal communication is a tool of objectivity which we all can and should use to more accurately determine the emotions, thoughts and motives of others. It is in this spirit that it is put forth.
At 2:20 just before Governor Christie says begins, "Let me conclude with this, ummm, This is not the tone I've set over the last four years in this building ..." At 2:23 (as he says the long "... ummm ..."he displays several nonverbal signals classic for anger - particularly easily seen are his thinned and horizontal lips with a foreshortened mouth opening, tension in the "mustache area" and nostril flaring. He is angry at some of his senior staff and the situation he now finds himself.
He also displays a concurrent "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle" (aka SRHW) which is highly inconsistent with someone who is lying. Those who display the self-righteous head wiggle are displaying alpha qualities and very high confidence and passion regarding the subject(s) being discussed. Those with alpha personalities certainly can lie or course - however in the moment of lying, their body language will display beta qualities and other nonverbal tells as well. Liars may be passionate in their cause - but not in their ability to deceive. A liar's lack of confidence will "leak" out in their body language. Chris Christie is confident because he is telling the truth.
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