Earlier today Angelina Jolie and Universal Pictures made an announcement via YouTube. She has chickenpox and will not be able to attend some events regarding the release and promotion of her film, "Unbroken" which is scheduled to be released on Christmas day 2014.
This video shows us a great yet subtle example of a rarely discussed body language dynamic known as a "Head Torque".
The head torque is comprised of a turning and rotating of the head and neck in a relatively quick manner. Angelina's example is subtle (0:16 in video and in the image captured below); however with moderate and more extreme examples there is first a pronounced turning away from - and then a turning back towards the person/camera being addressed (e.g., Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2589: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Admits to Smoking Crack Cocaine - Body Language of the "Head Torque"). A "leading with the top of the head first" motion is also seen. This nonverbal dynamic has a distinct twisting or torqueing motion associated with it (thus the nomenclature, Head Torque). Many find it reminiscent of a dog or horse pushing and object with their head or mouth. The head torque has distinct alpha, adamant, frustrated and mild to moderate anger emotional components associated with it - as well as a metaphorical, "I'm going to 'take my medicine' " or "I'm going to do what I have to do" emotional tone.
Another body language dynamic seen in this video that is very often misunderstood is lateral (side-to-side) head shaking (and impossible to fully appreciate in still images) . A nonverbal beginner may often say that Ms. Jolie is lying when she is exhibiting this movement - (e.g., well seen during 0:22 - 0:26) - yet they would be very wrong for she is being highly sincere. Her side-to-side head shaking is highly congruent with her words, "... and I can't believe it, 'cause this film means so much to me. I just can't believe it ...". It signals that her emotional brain is still processing what her intellect already knows - that she won't be able to attend the events. It signals a form of semi-denial/disbelief.
What is the significance of the prolonged eyelid closure also seen during the head torque? (also pictured below)
Heal quickly Angelina.
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