Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2040:
Never Trust a One-Sided Smile -
Ex-Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

Obviously, if you were involved in the voir dire process, you'd never select ex-lobbyist, Jack Abramoff for your jury. But if this exact expression were on another person, what objective body language clues are being displayed that qualify and quantify this judgment?

First, his unilateral smile - when someone is displaying a smile on only one side of their mouth, even if it is subtle, it's usually either and insincere smile, contempt, a suppressed smile or the initial stages of a smile. There is very often emotional (or cognitive) dissonance present with a one-side smile. Mr. Abramoff examples for us here the emotion of contempt.

When the central forehead is contracted, if there is a subtle smile present (even a subtle one) - this should raise an alarm. This is an example of emotional dissonance. Central forehead contraction (CFC) when present with a mouth of sadness or fear indicates physical or emotional pain - being experienced directly or secondarily via empathy. But when a smile accompanies a CFC - even a very slight one - it always is a red flag. When present for short periods, this mouth-combination indicates contempt, incredulity (disbelief) or arrogance. When chronically present, sociopathic behavior should be strongly suspected.