Saturday, May 14, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3558: Jack Whitehall, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Lawrence and Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

In her recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Jennifer Lawrence describes an occasion when she approached Harrison Ford and J.J. Abrams - and apparently neither man recognize her. As it happens, another of Norton's guests - Jack Whitehall - was with Lawrence at her table. Mr. Whitehall's experience that night was a better one, for Han Solo's alter ego recognized Jack and greeted him enthusiastically.

From a body language perspective, there is one nonverbal signal in this video clip which, although very commonly exhibited - it's underlying meaning is rarely understood.

At several times in this video, Jack Whitehall interlocks his fingers over his right knee.  The first example of this behavior is captured below (0:06 - 0:10) as he realizes the event which Jennifer Lawrence has just begun discussing.

The fingers are held relatively tightly as they place tension on the knee (or just below it) and upper leg - very often lifting the ipsilateral foot off the ground (as is seen here) with the torso assisting by lending leverage via leaning backward.

In a general sense, this nonverbal dynamic is a signal of anxiety - however we can slice its meaning a good bit thinner. More specifically, this body language configuration is a signal of Emotional and Cognitive Dissonance (thus it's sometimes referred to as "Hamstring Dissonance" [because of the stretching of these muscles with this action]). Mr. Whitehall, while certainly wanting to tell his side of the story - is somewhat hesitant - for even although Jennifer Lawrence often uses self-deprecation as a comedic device, Whitehall's newfound camaraderie with Harrison Ford comes at Ms. Lawrence's expense.


In the second example below (from 0:40), this Hamstring Dissonance is more subtle - as Whitehall's leg is not being elevated.

Another nonverbal sign which amplifies his conflicting feelings are Jack's crossed ankles - which cannot be directly visualized in either of these two views.


There are many nonverbal tells of emotional and cognitive dissonance - and this is but one type. The ramifications of seeing and understanding these signals are profound. Hundreds are displayed in any typical business day. How many have missed?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3557: Meghan Trainor Falls on Jimmy Fallon as She Finishes "Me Too" - Body Language Tells 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2796: Olivia Wilde, Butter, Jon Stewart and the Tongue in Cheek

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2586: Harrison Ford in "Ender's Game" - Microexpression and Macroexpression of Regret - Harrison's Brand and the Stanislavski Method

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3242: Jennifer Lawrence, Singing Cher, Liam Hemsworth and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3536: Prince Explains His Name Change in 1999 Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3287: Hillary Clinton, Email Servers and Crisis Management

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2657: Keanu Reeves's, "47 Ronin" and a Hesitancy to Discuss - a Key Body Language Tell

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3281: Donald Trump on "Meet The Press" - Who Does He Talk to for Military Advice?