Recently some NASA scientists were speaking before the US House of Representatives' Space Subcommittee, when Representative Dana Rohrabacher asked a rather peculiar question - fielded by Ken Farley, Ph.D. What follows is a transcript of this segment as well as a partial nonverbal analysis.
ROHRABACHER (beginning at 0:24): You have indicated that Mars, had a, ah, was totally different thousands of years ago. Ah, is it possible that there was a civilization, on Mars thousands of years ago?
FARLEY: So the evidence is that, ah, Mars was different Billions of years ago -
ROHRABACHER: [over-talking] Billions - well, yes, but ...
FARLEY: - not thousands of years ago, and, and, um, there would be - there is no evidence that, ahhh, I'm aware of, that would
ROHRABACHER: [over-talking] Would you rule, would you rule that out that - see there's some people, well, anyway [inaudible]
FARLEY: I would, I would say that is extremely unlikely.
During most of the time when Dr. Farley is speaking, he can be seen displaying a "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle" (aka "High Confidence Head Wiggle).
A Self-Righteous/High Confidence Head Wiggle (SRHW/HCHW) is a relatively rapid, side-to-side movements of the head and neck which is also often simultaneous with a similar movement of the torso (which is well exemplified here). Sometimes even the jaw is involved in an analog behavior.
This particular SRHW is relatively of relatively long duration (several seconds - waxing and waning) - although it's often a very short-lived behavior (e.g., a near-microexpression).
As its name implies, a Self-Righteous/High Confidence Head Wiggle is displayed by people who are in hyper-alpha moments of associated with strong emotions and high confidence. There's often an additional component of Hubris or Swagger.
It's important to note that the SRHW/HCHW is a very dynamic body language signal - and is not captured with still images. Please view the video several times to appreciate the particular dynamics.
Although not present in these examples, the SRHW/HCHW may also sometimes have an additional superimposed backward movement (when disbelief, disgust, and/or contempt are accompanying emotions) - or a concomitant movement forward (when condescending or arrogant feelings are coexisting).
Although present to a relatively minimal degree here, the vocal pitch very often grows higher during the Self-Righteous/High Confidence Head Wiggle. The speed of Dr. Farley's speech more noticeably increases - keeping relative tempo with his head and torso oscillation. These two changes exemplify strong associations between body language and paralanguage.
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