Monday, February 2, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3088: Malcolm Butler at the Moment he Caught His Game-Winning Super Bowl Interception (PHOTOS)

The context of sport provides a fantastic forum in which to study nonverbal communication. This image of Malcolm Butler captured a fraction of a second after his game-winning interception is no exception. It shows the hero of Super Bowl XLIX with his eyelids opened more widely than baseline - particularly his left eye. This is either due to the emotion of surprise or more likely - a surge of adrenaline (Epinephrine). If this photo were of high enough resolution, we would also see his pupils dilated.

Can you name the other emotional states which cause the eyelids to open more widely?

The most information dense areas of the body with regards to nonverbal communication are the eyes. They display dramatic emotional differences with ever so subtle changes. Humans are the only primates where the sclera ("whites of the eyes") are significantly lighter than the iris (colored portion of the eye surrounding the pupil, e.g. brown, blue, green, hazel, etc.). Evolutionary biologists theorized this contrasting of color aides in allowing just such body language subtlety to be transmitted in conjunction with slight and dynamic variations of the eyelids opening, closing, tightening, etc.

Pay constant and close attention to very slight changes in others' eyelids. You will then begin to notice great detail to which you were once were oblivious.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3087: Idina Menzel & How to Make a Likeable Person More Likeable

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2355:  Adam Lanza's College ID and the  Body Language of Eyes Chronically Wide Open

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2415:  Yanira Maldonado released from Mexican Jail  What's Up with her Eyes?  Atypical Body Language of White & Wide Eyes 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2919: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - Friends? - will they Hug it Out? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2986: Fury (2014 Film) - Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Acting & Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2862: Eli Wallach, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Body Language 

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 1261:  True Surprise - Rarely Captured  IMF Director Christine Lagarde 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2728: Mikaela Shiffrin wins Gold at Sochi - Sincere Surprise Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3041: Jim Harbaugh Body Language Tutorial   

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2959: The Hunger Games Mockingjay - What makes Donald Sutherland (as President Coriolanus Snow) look so Evil? Body Language Trailer Tell