Sunday, July 22, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2041:
Bradley Wiggins Wins Tour de France -
Fiero After Overcoming Obstacle

Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France today. Although we cannot see his eyes, periorbital region and forehead, other displays of his body language signal us the emotion of "Fiero".

Fiero is a term coined by the Italian Psychologist Isabella Poggi - and although it has more words than any other language, there is no English language translation (English, intriguingly has a relative lack of words for positive emotions). It is the intense satisfaction we feel when a great obstacle has been overcome. Although its expression is photographed and video captured most often in the context of sports, it may be seen in any field of human endeavor - in personal relationships, health issues, educational, job-related, financial, etc.

Fiero can be experienced directly or indirectly via an empathy-vicarious experience. Hundreds of millions or even billions of people felt this way when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon 43 years and 2 days ago. However fiero it is not braggadocio and does not need others present to be experienced (or in the example of Apollo 11, watching or listening). Particularly in some sporting scenarios, to the casual observer it can, at first glance, appear as bragging and showy - and certainly these other egocentric behaviors and displays exist - but they are very different in nature.

At the height of expression, the face (and often the hands as well) of fiero resemble that of pain and may also resemble anger (interestingly, this is similar to the facial expression made during sexual orgasm). This only lasts for a few seconds though and is shortly replaced by classic nonverbal displays of Sincere Joy-Happiness Smiles.

Most of the time, when the hands/arms are lifted above the head, it signals positive emotions - although there are exceptions (see also: Analysis # 1490: Kansas Surrenders). And also similar to anger, when there is tension in the mid-face and mouth - it is very often mirrored in the hands. With anger, pain and fiero - a fist is a concomitant body language expression.  

Positive and negative emotions are often magnified when in the presence of others. Mob mentality in the setting of riots and war is a negative example of this behavior ... and at the other end of the emotional spectrum - fiero is as well. Sports, Music and to a somewhat lesser degree - politics and religion serve additional roles of allowing a shared fiero and thus engendering a more full human experience.

See also:

Fiero after Accomplishment

Body Language at the FIFA World Cup

Two Emotions for Ron Wood

Analysis # 1446: Tension in the Hands - Tension in the Mouth

Analysis # 1995: Barack Obama, Social Darwinism and the Political Point

Analysis # 1812: Jamie Dimon on JPMorgan Chase's $2 Billion Loss - The Day After

Analysis # 20: Fiero Feels Good - Mirror Neurons