Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2772: Mary Barra, General Motors' CEO, Testifies Before Congress - Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Mary Barra, General Motors' CEO testified before congress today. Prior to her recent promotion to head up the automotive company - over a ten year period thirteen deaths resulted from a faulty 57 cent component of the ignition switch that the company allegedly failed to act upon. 

In the above image we see several important nonverbal signals at the same moment - what in body language terminology is known as a "cluster".

Most obviously is Ms. Barra's inward lip roll. An "Inward Lip Roll" (ILR) is one way the subconscious tries to suppress the inward escalation and the outward manifestation of significant emotions. These strong emotions are usually negative (as is the case with Ms. Barra) - although joy-happiness may be suppressed this way when a person does not want to fully express it (e.g. out of social context, accompanying "duping delight", etc.).

In this moment the General Motors CEO is feeling significant anger. One way we know this is her "Jaw Clenching" which is accompanying her ILR. This gives the ILR a somewhat atypical appearance - for the lips cannot roll completely inward (which is more common) as they are blocked by the closed teeth. Thus the tissue adjacent to the lips - bulges outward in a "Peri-Lip Bulge". Chin dimpling, which also is extremely common this scenario, is also seen here. This combination of the ILR with a Jaw Clench is a very common expression of President Obama.

In addition, Ms. Barra's nostrils are flared, her eyelids are opened wider than her baseline and her forehead is contracted together with raised eyebrows.

The above cluster-context findings are indicative of a heightened adrenaline state and anger.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2771: Australian PM Tony Abbott regarding Malaysian Airlines MH370 Search - Body Language Misinterpretations and Regret 

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1922:  Jamie Dimon Testifies Before Congress  My Guest Commentary on NPR -  KPCC Southern California Public Radio

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2437:  Michael Jackson's Wrongful Death Trial  Faux Pas Body Language during Testimony by AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2507:  Secretary of State Kerry's Disgust  An Oft Overlooked and Camouflaged Body Language Signal

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2436:  Vladimir Putin next to Barack Obama -  G8 Body Language