Katie Holmes was a guest The Tonight Show yesterday. As with most highly skilled actors, when they are "in character" - their anxiety tells are relatively minimal (although not absent). However when actors are not acting and thus "just being themselves" - their anxiety is just as frequent and obvious as it would be for any average person.
Ms. Holmes' conversation with Jimmy Fallon provides for us several excellent body language tells - what follows is a partial analysis.
It's referred to as a surrogate because the ring is a worn object - rather than part of the body.
Yet we can slice this thinner - this is an example of a nonverbal "Alpha Up-regulator". It is seen as the psyche is dialing up an alpha characteristics while down-regulating beta qualities. Put another way - despite the fact she has anxiety, Ms. Holmes is entering into an "Assertiveness Mode".
Reaching across the body is significant for increased "blocking" (temporarily forming a protective barrier) and thus a greater level of anxiety is signaled here vs. if she had scratched on the same side. Additionally, this specific nonverbal MAP has a high correlation with "honest anxiety" and a low correlation with deception. (e.g., this is rarely a lie tell).
During the 1:43 - 1:44 segment, we see another MAP surrogate (and anxiety tell) - very similar to the ring twisting showcased above - here Katie adjusts/fondles her bracelet.
These examples are shown in the context entertainment during a low-consequence interview. Yet these same tells are displayed repeatedly on the campaign trail, in the board room, the court room, in high-level negotiations and during virtually every sales scenario - and very often they are contradicting the verbal language. When verbal and nonverbal communication are not congruent - the nonverbal always is telling the truth. How many did you miss this week?
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