Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (formerly Cheryl Cole) was recently a guest on The Graham Norton Show. And as with most talk show appearances, it was chock-full of great body language teaching moments - and one in particular (with an amplifier) is highlighted here as she describing her training for her Mount Kilimanjaro climb.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a nonverbal amplifier is just what it sounds - highlighting and giving emphasis to a primary nonverbal. It's often helpful to think of it as similar to an adverb with the written or spoken word.
Here the primary body language is the facial configuration of a "Rationalization-Rapport-Empathy-Expression" (abbreviated R2E2). During the segment 1:54 to 1:57 we see Ms. Fernandez-Versini display the R2E2. Many nonverbal novices will confuse this expression with the facial configuration for disgust or contempt - yet they are vastly different emotions (Do you know how to differentiate them?). The R2E2 is used when the speaker is trying to rationalize and/or attempting to get the listener to co-rationalize their behavior, opinions, ideas, actions, etc. The desire for empathy is strong and rapport with the listener is being sought when the R2E2 is being expressed.
Often but not always, the rate and pitch of the speech both increase coincident with the Rationalization Rapport Empathy Expression - which act as accentuators. In this particular example with Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, these vocal changes are subtle to absent - yet she does have another amplifier - that of the forward sweeping motion (Forward Hand Sweep) with her arms/hands in a display of hyperbolic irony (for about one second during 1:54, see image below and video above). There are other varieties of nonverbal amplifiers as well - can you describe any?
We all display the R2E2 from time to time, yet when you see this expression chronically what should it make you think? How about excessively within one conversation?
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Forward Hand Sweep