Friday, June 22, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1897:
George Zimmerman's Reenactment of
Trayvon Martin Shooting

Yesterday, a video of George Zimmerman's description (to police) of the Trayvon Martin shooting was released. The above is a portion of that video via CNN.

Although throughout much of the first portion of this video we can see little or none of George Zimmerman's face, many body language cues can be ascertained through watching his hands. Zimmerman's hands are in moving in conjunction with his story/version of the facts. Note that at several times he often used the universal nonverbal signal of an extended thumb and pinky (fifth digit) with flexed/contracted second, third and fourth digits to signal a phone call/his conversation with the police non-emergency dispatcher. Zimmerman's hands also move very congruently with his description of Trayvon Martin's movement. 

At no time during this video does he touch his face. Self-touching (Manipulators, Adaptors or Pacifiers aka MAPs) - particularly facial touching would be expected throughout this video if Zimmerman were lying or had a significantly increased level of anxiety. The fact that there are no visible MAPs strongly suggests Zimmerman's relative (but not complete, see below) lack of anxiety and high level of confidence and comfort. People who are telling the truth naturally have confidence.

Zimmerman's rate of blinking is relatively high in this video - which is consistent with some increased anxiety. Famously many U.S. Presidential candidates, who are telling the truth during debates have increased blink rates. Because blinking varies from person to person a fair amount, it is important to compare moments before and after the time being questioned (and during non-stressful periods) to determine if there is a true increase. 

From a nonverbal communication standpoint this Video demonstrates a very high degree of sincerity (sincerity quotient) and truthfulness from George Zimmerman.