Saturday, April 2, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3517: Before His Walk Back, Donald Trump "There Has To Be Some Form of Punishment" to Women who have Abortions - Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

During a town hall meeting this past Wednesday in Appleton, Wisconsin, when Donald Trump was asked by Chris Matthews (beginning at 2:15 in the video): "... Do you believe in punishment for abortion - yes or no - as a principle?"

Trump: "The answer is [pause] there has to be some form of punishment."

Matthews: "For the woman?"

Trump: "Yeah. There has to be some form."

After a firestorm from both republicans and democrats, the businessman-turned-politician walked back his position within just a few hours. His newly revised stance says a women who obtain abortions are victims and that physicians who perform the procedures should be punished.

When Trump says, "... that", (and during part of the pause afterward) we see him display a jaw jut. This is a common nonverbal displayed by Trump. A jaw jut can have several different meanings depending on the other nonverbals with which it is clustered - here it indicates both stalling and hubris (Another extremely common and obvious paralanguage signal of stalling is his use of, "The answer is ...").

During 2:20 just after he says, "... that ...", Trump displays a classic but subtle microexpression of fear. Note how corners of his mouth pull back (laterally). Please watch the video during this segment to fully appreciate the very brief and dynamic nature of this phenomenon.

Trump was not well thought on this particular issue and needed time to think it through - and he also had significant trepidation to saying yes to the idea of punishing women.

Trump also displayed an increased frequency as well as a prolongation of his blinking as he was formulating his answer. This nonverbal dynamic is a common anxiety indicator.

Trump's hand chop as he says, "... there has to be some form of punishment", shows us that he has crossed his dissonance threshold and made his (strong) decision.

Moreover, in this particular context his hand chop also projects the additional visual metaphor of severe punishment.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3516: Hillary Clinton, Finger Pointing, Fossil Fuels, Bernie Sanders and Lying

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3495: Donald Trump swarmed by security on stage in Ohio

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3482: Donald Trump Refuses to Disavow David Duke and the KKK

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3454: Donald Trump - Buying the Farm after 2nd Place Finish in Iowa Caucuses

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3436: Is Hillary Clinton Intimidated by Donald Trump?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2750: Oscar Pistorius, Reeva Steenkamp and Lies 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2033:  Lie Detection, Sergey Lavrov and Syria 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2086:  Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Love and Sincerity