Thursday, March 22, 2012

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1486:
Etch A Sketch, Romney & his Director of Communications -
Eric Fehrnstrom Gaffe

Eric Fehrnstrom is playing fast and loose with his similes. The director of communications for the Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, is much like the boy-hero in The Emperor's New Clothes. Anyone who remotely follows politics knows he was being completely accurate and honest in his analogy - he just shouldn't have said it aloud. I'm sure he thinks so now anyway.

A body language analysis of Fehrnstrom for the particular few moments yields some interesting details. At the 0:22 second mark, Fehrnstrom's central forehead contracts briefly just as he is about to say the words "'s almost like an Etch A Sketch ...". This evanescent and highly characteristic contracture of just the center forehead, is a microexpression for a signal of pain. Such pain may be either emotional or physical, directly experienced or via empathy. In Fehrnstrom's case it is emotional pain at the the idea of running towards the center for November. At the 0:23 second mark Mr. Fehrnstrom shows us another microexpression - this time for the emotion of contempt (on his left side). It resembles a very brief "mini-snarl". Fehrnstrom abhors the idea of "you can kind of ... shake it up and we start it all over again" - metaphorically reformatting Romney for the general election.

It's expensive being honest. Hans Christian Andersen and Eric Fehrnstrom were right. The emperor is naked. Aren't they all?

See also: Secret # 1407: Aboni Champion-Morin, Reunited with Kidnapped Son After 8 Years - 
Microexpression of Contempt