Monday, September 26, 2016

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3705: Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump Presidential Debate - Trump: I'm 'smart' for paying no taxes - Body Language & Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The First of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Debates were held tonight at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

There's easily a semester's worth of Nonverbal Behavior material in this roughly 90 minute debate. What follows here is but a sampling.

Note the video above - but before you even push play, look for a moment at the initial display frame. Hillary Clinton's feet are resting slightly less than a shoulder's width apart - while Donald Trump's feet are closer together in both an absolute and relative sense. Standing with one's feet too close together (as Trump is doing here) is somewhat akin to standing at attention. It tends to increase anxiety, emotional discomfort and a beta emotional tone. Standing with your feet about a shoulder's width apart (or slightly closer) engenders fluidity of both thought and speech (truly improving "thinking on your feet") - while simultaneously making one feel more alpha, assertive and strong.

The image above was captured during the 1:07 mark of the above video just after Mr. Trump says, "That makes me smart" (after Secretary Clinton said he paid no taxes during some years). The expression on Mr. Trump's face (particularly his mouth corners vectoring laterally and downward) was that of fear. This lasted for about 1.0 seconds (so it's not classified as a "microexpression" although it's still relatively short-lived). The image below is a close-up of this same moment.

Overlapping (during the 1:07 - 1:09 segment and seen very easily in the video), Mr. Trump is also rocking back and forth on his feet at a relatively high frequency while simultaneously gripping the forward sides of the lectern.

While holding this part of lectern can project alpha emotional tones (depending on the other nonverbal signals with which it is clustered) - Mr. Trump does this far too frequently during this debate (and when compared with previous debates). As with most alpha body language, what's good in small doses - will backfire in larger doses. More is not better. This makes him seem tired, anxious and out of his element.

The overall gist of this nonverbal cluster displayed seen in this short segment of this Presidential Debate indicates clearly that the topic of his taxes makes Mr. Trump very nervous and even fearful.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3704: Hillary Clinton, Likability and Presidential Debates

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3702: Hillary Clinton: "Why aren't I 50 points ahead (of Trump)?''

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3695: Donald Trump, "Take Their Guns away", "Let's see What Happens to Her" 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3683: Brock Turner Released from Prison after 3 Months 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3676: Colin Kaepernick Says He Be Sitting Down During the National Anthem

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3646: Melania Trump, Donald Trump, Visas, Citizenship and Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3631: Donald Trump's Acceptance Speech at the GOP Convention

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3604: Nigel Farage, Jean-Claude Juncker, The Brexit and "Why Are You Here?"