Jessica Alba was recently a guest on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show. During her appearance, she spoke about her recently announced her third pregnancy - and the rules she and her husband have for naming their child.
At 1:11, Ms. Alba continues, "... So, our kids had to have unusual names, that also were words, and for some reason we chose, 'H'. So it has t' be single or double syllable, has to be an 'H', and it also has to be a word."
Immediately after making this statement, Ms. Alba's jaw moves laterally (to her right). This movement is sudden in onset, and lasts only for about three seconds, from about 1:23 - 1:26. This nonverbal signal is what is known as a "Jaw Confessional".
Sometimes a jaw confessional is accompanied by a similar component of lip movement - which is seen in the latter half of this particular example.
A jaw confessional indicates some level of embarrassment as well as a hesitancy to disclose. Often times it is also accompanied with an apology. Jessica Alba is a bit embarrassed as to her particular rules of child-naming - and taking the context into account, it's easy to correlate this as the cause of her embarrassment. Thus, for an observer, the jaw confessional serves as a sincerity validator. Moreover, if we already like the person, this action can often amplify our endearment to them.
However, if you were to see a jaw confessional - but it was NOT followed by a disclosure of awkward/embarrassing information or an apology, then you would know at the very last second the person decided to withhold information and therefore trying to deceive you.
Note that this jaw movement was very sudden in onset and lasted for only three seconds. If the mandibular movement were instead, slowly initiated, and of long duration, it would then have a completely different meaning. What would this second scenario indicate?
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