Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2132:
Variations on a Theme -
The Palm-Forward Dominant Spider (The Claw) vs.
The Split-Finger Fastball

On Monday, 25 September 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Here are two images taken from that same speech. In the photo above, he uses a version of "The Dominant Spider" (aka "The Claw") - with his palm facing forward - towards the audience. This is a very alpha and dominant nonverbal. It should be choreographed - used at specific times, for short durations and in small doses. Use it with caution. If not, this very assertive body language will come across too strong and thus will backfire and destroy rapport.

In the picture below, President Obama is exemplifying a "softened" version of "The Claw". It's called the "Split Finger Fast Ball" because of resemblance to a pitcher's hand/finger configuration in the well-known baseball delivery. It's not as aggressive and not as alpha as The Claw - rather it is a great example of an alpha-beta hybrid. Not too assertive, not too demure. This is an example of a body language nuance that escapes most of those in power positions - the happy medium.

A fascinating aspect to nonverbal communication can be seen contrasting the mid-face of the American President in these two images. Note in the bottom photo, Obama's face is also softer, friendly and more rapport engendering. Facial tension, anger and all negative emotions are very often mirrored in hand tension. If the hand is more relaxed the face is as well. The opposite is just as true. If there's any doubt in your mind as to the intent or emotions of someone, cross checking the body language of their hands with the face should help you to be much more specific in your "Nonverbal Diagnosis".

See also:

Analysis # 1059: Rick Santorum's Dominant Spider

Analysis # 702 : Muammar Gaddafi's (Gadhafi's) Dominant Spider

Analysis # 731: Super Mario Monte's Dominant Spider

Analysis # 1871: Barack Obama Explains His "Private Sector is Doing Fine" Comment - The Dominant Spider vs. The Split-Finger Fastball


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2131:
Presidential Debate Highlights on CBS -
Bush vs. Gore 2000
Gore's Invasion of Bush's Personal Space

CBS This Morning recently highlighted some Presidential debates in this segment: Nixon vs. Kennedy (1960), Reagan vs. Carter (1980), Bush vs. Gore (2000) and Bush vs. Kerry (2004). Presidential historian - Douglas Brinkley and hosts Anthony Mason and Rebecca Jarvis - and especially the Video themselves emphasized the importance of the body language.

One video in particular which stands out here is Bush vs. Gore. During a moment when George Bush was answering, Al Gore conspicuously walked closer to Bush - into his personal space. This was probably deliberately performed in an effort to try and intimidate Bush. It backfired. Even Gore supporters felt uncomfortable watching this nonverbal mistake.

Interpersonal space - often thought of as a series of invisible bubbles surrounding us and dictating how close a person may approach - is variable depending on many factors. In a debate scenario (with the exception of the beginning and the end when the handshakes take place) this space is wider than usual - particularly with their chairs being positioned a good distance apart. As Brinkley points out, the look Bush gave Gore after Al approaches evoked empathy for George in most who were watching. The combination of these two nonverbals linked in succession had a powerful impact on the results of this debate. Intriguingly, George W. Bush went on to have a good bit of his own interpersonal faux pas. 

See also: 


Friday, September 28, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2130:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Helping Syria -
Interview with Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell

Have you heard? Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just made a trip to New York City. In this recent Charlie Rose & Norah O'Donnell interview of Ahmadinejad, he displays some great nonverbal tells. Among other nonverbals, he shows several fantastic examples of microexpressions here - for contempt. These can be seen at 0:21, 0:28, 1:21, 1:23 (extremely subtle), 1:52 (extremely subtle), 1:54, 2:34 and 3:53. To the observant yet untrained person, these may look like a twitch of the mouth/lips or a variety of facial tic. Yet these are clear and classic body language signals of contempt. We all have bias towards one side of our face with asymmetrical expressions - and the Iranian President is no different. His mouth-contempt displays are all manifested on his left.

During 3:54 - 3:55, the man from Tehran shows us a brief Self-Righteous Head Wiggle (SRHW). This nonverbal is characterized by a high frequency, low amplitude and short-lived side-to-side head bobble. As is seen here, there is very often a head/neck retraction - although sometimes (more commonly with private, one-on-one scenarios and/or when there is a superior-to-subordinate relationship) there is a forward vector to this motion. This head and neck motion, along with an extended (only tenths of seconds) eyelid closure (aka an "extended blink") which Mahmoud manifests many times during this video - is a nonverbal signal of added incredulity. The SRHW is used by alphas when in the presence of whom they consider to be betas/subordinates. It's a beacon that they are adamant that their opinion/course-of-action is correct. It is very often clustered with other negative emotions. Remember that in your day-to-day world, you will see these (and other) negative body language signals associated with verbal pleasantries. Whenever the verbal and nonverbal are in disagreement - always believe the nonverbal message.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also displays a classic "Lip Purse" expression at the 2:02 mark when Norah O'Donnell asks about whether Iran is training soldiers for the Syrian Government and Bashar al-Assad. Some may falsely ascribe his mouth configuration to an attempt to suppress a smile and/or laugh - however, if this were so - one absolutely key sign we have to see is "smiling with the eyes" - appearing initially and persisting. He is NOT smiling with his eyes. His laughter is feigned. A mouth which suppresses true laughter has a significantly different appearance. 

Pursing lips are a signal that there is strong disparity with what is being said and what is being thought-felt. Moreover those displaying it believe they are in a relative alpha position and they have a plan. They also believe they can execute their plan as well - and it will most likely remain partially or absolutely clandestine.

Ahmadinejad's fabricated laugh would throw most people off track. Beware of Trojan horses. Sometimes they're from Tehran.

See also:
Analysis # 2113: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, the U.S. and the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle

Analysis # 1239: Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama and Iran

Analysis # 1933: Iran's Aggression and their Military's Salute - A Visual Metaphor of WWII & Nazi Fear

Analysis # 2113: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, the U.S. and the Self-Righteous Head Wiggle

Analysis # 112: Pakistan Trumps Iran

Analysis # 1864: Assuring a Nonverbal Display

Analysis # 1881: Interrupting the President & Contempt Display - Neil Munro shows us his Body Language and His (Lack of) Etiquette


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2129:
Barack Obama's Body Language, Misspeaks "Export More Jobs"
Displays Incredulity and .....

In Kent, Ohio yesterday, President Obama misspoke then made a quick recovery. After saying he wanted to "...export more jobs ...." he then quickly said, ".... export more products ....", then ".... I was channeling my opponent ...." He couldn't believe his own verbal misstep - displaying a classic body language configuration of incredulity - a briefly elevated (right) eyebrow and contracted and elevated (right) forehead as well as a tilting of the head/neck to the same side (0:20 and 0:21). This nonverbal of disbelief was repeated later when he recalled the statement of Mitt Romney (Obama quoting Romney, "... let's let Detroit go bankrupt ...") regarding the difficulty, risk and wisdom of bailing out the auto industry - and in the actions of his own administration (0:45 - 0:49, 0:50 - 0:51).

One signal of disbelief that is bilateral and also seen here is the extended blink. Closing the eyelids of both eyes for prolonged periods (just a few tenths of a second longer than normal) is an example of emotional processing. The emotions are trying to adjust to what just occurred while simultaneously wishing the mistake away.

Intriguingly these looks of disbelief are displayed on the right side of President Obama's face, head and neck. Although Obama is left handed, he displays here (and has in the past) significant signals of ambidexterity. When it comes to facial nonverbals of an asymmetrical nature (such as incredulity and contempt) most everyone tends to bias to one side - and although most of the time it's the same as their dominant hand use, there are exceptions. This is one example.

Here in this video, with the ability to pause and replay an event, body language signals such as this are significantly easier to see and contrast against a verbal message. In day-to-day life, "pause and replay" opportunities are very rare and thus nonverbal warning signs go unseen and under appreciated by the vast majority of people - even the very educated and experienced.

President Obama did commit one nonverbal sign that was consistent with less than complete sincerity. Can you spot it?

See also:

Analysis # 1696: George Zimmerman's Testimony - Fear, Incredulity, Regret & Contempt

Analysis # 1600: Senator Marco Rubio - Sincerity, Self-directed Incredulity & Humor, Blocking and Appeals for the Vice Presidency

Analysis # 67: Incredulous Cluster

Analysis # 1910: Natasha Smith Sexually Assaulted in Tahrir Square - Post Assault Interview

Analysis # 2124: This Body Language-Facial Display Should always make you think "Insincere"

Analysis # 1531: Hillary Clinton Describing the Osama Bin Laden Navy SEAL Raid at the U.S. Naval Academy, 10 April 2012


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2128:
Mitt Romney's & Bill Clinton's Body Language
during Mitt's Joke at 2012 Clinton Global Initiative

There are some great body language displays in this short video clip. In it Bill Clinton introduces Mitt Romney at the Clinton Global Initiative 2012.

Freeze frame during the 0:05 mark.

Note the configuration of Bill Clinton's mouth/lips. His protruding Jaw (aka "Jaw Jut") and is strongly indicative of anger. His masseter muscles (which close the jaw) can be seen prominently bulging (tightly contracted). Another signal of anger is Mr. Clinton's thinned lips - which here is coexistent with a partial internal lip roll (ILR). The ILR is a strong nonverbal indicator of an attempt to control negative emotions (here anger, but it can be associated with others such as sadness). It's a signal that the temper is wearing thin.

Mitt Romney, by chance or design approached the lectern from the left side of the stage. This is the desirable tactic because it places Mitt's hand closer to the audience and more visible to cameras or eyeballs. His hand is slightly rotated clock-wise placing him slightly "on top" - a signal of alpha behavior. Mitt goes one notch further by using his left hand to embrace Bill's right elbow. This "false intimacy/false friendship" nonverbal - although more widely used in the context of politics - is universally negatively received - encroaching into personal space. Romney uses the elbow embrace here as an additional display of dominance.

During the "joke", where Mitt Romney gives Bill Clinton a complement and eludes to "a bump in the polls", the republican candidate displays contempt twice in the form of a unilateral sniff (once during 0:24 - 0:25 and more subtly at 0:41 - 0:42 - both via his left nostril). This rapid nasal inhalation of air is variation of the nasal flare and is often seen with a lip curl, a tightening of the mustache area, an increase in "crow's feet" and a partial closure of the eyelids. It's a commonly overlooked nonverbal and here it betrays Governor Romney's true feelings for President Clinton - contempt.

See also:  

Analysis # 2127: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Body Language during Piers Morgan Interview

Analysis # 1499: Bill Clinton's Empathy for Eric Fehrnstrom and Mitt Romney ... What's YOUR Sincerity Quotient?

Analysis # 2125: Presidential Debate Body Language - George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot 1992

Analysis # 441: Bill Clinton's Rapport and His Temporary Universe

Analysis # 1881: Interrupting the President & Contempt Display - Neil Munro shows us his Body Language and His (Lack of) Etiquette

Analysis # 55: What is Bill Clinton Saying?

Analysis # 731: Beautiful Prime Minister - Bad Handshake

Analysis # 703: Bad Handshake? - Let me Count the Ways!

Analysis # 1041: Russia's Dominance Over Syria

Analysis # 1510: Handshakes, Statesmanship and Dominance - Manmohan Singh & Asif Ali Zardari

Analysis # 379: Dominant Handshake Tendencies

Analysis # 1131: Romney's Handshake, Santorum's Bicep and Dominance 

Analysis # 1032: Romney, Rapport and Handshakes



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2127:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Body Language during
Piers Morgan Interview

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran was interviewed by Piers Morgan on Sunday. This interview demonstrated a few great nonverbal tells - here are some:

Ahmadinejad displays contempt a number of times during this video manifested by a less common and underappreciated body language signal - the unilateral sniff. The one-sided rapid air inhaling through a nostril is a variation of nostril flaring (0:16, 0:18, 0:21 - 0:22, and 2:08). It can also be commonly accompanied by a subtle (or sometimes very overt) "snarl" or a tightening of the mustache area, a lip curl, a unilateral "bunching-up" (contraction) of the cheek, as well as a transient increase in crows feet" and a partial closure of the eyelids. Note that the sniff-snarl occurs on Ahmadinejad's right, while multiple mouth-contempt microexpressions of contempt happen on his left (0:45, 1:04, 1:16, 1:18, and 2:01) while a longer duration example occurs at 1:25.

The Iranian President is not without signals of anxiety. During the 0:48 - 0:57 as well as the 1:27 - 1:35 Ahmadinejad is self-hand holding and massaging his fingers/thumb. This is one example of what is known as a Manipulator, Adaptor or Pacifier (MAP). This self-touching is a strong body language signal of anxiety and low-comfort. Moreover this behavior beckon occurs on his lap - indicating a greater need for protection. This seated variation of a "fig leaf" aka "genital guarding" contrasting with coexisting multiple contempt displays of contempt is an example of emotional dissonance. He has strong beliefs and wants everyone to know them - and yet he's not comfortable expressing them or at least doing so on unfriendly soil and/or on camera.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2126:
Bill Clinton on whether or not Hillary will run for
President in 2016

Probably the most common question Bill Clinton has been asked the last couple of years is whether or not Hillary will run for President in 2016. In this interview, the question is posed once again. His answer - "I have no Earthly idea what she'll decide to do ...." is an honest one. Although the former President displayed some subtle body language signals of anger-anxiety (probably because he's a bit tired of people asking him - can you spot it?) there are no nonverbal signs of dishonesty.

The Secretary of State truly has yet to make up her mind.

See also:

Analysis # 1499: Bill Clinton's Empathy for Eric Fehrnstrom and Mitt Romney ... What's YOUR Sincerity Quotient?

Analysis # 2125: Presidential Debate Body Language - George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot 1992

Analysis # 441: Bill Clinton's Rapport and His Temporary Universe

Analysis # 1553: Ann & Mitt Romney's Body Language at NRA Meeting

Analysis # 2777: Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, John McCain and John Boehner

Analysis # 1923: Hillary Clinton's Body Language re: Syrian Government - The Self-Righteous Head Wiggle

Analysis # 2032: Hillary Clinton in Paris - Building a Coalition Against Syrian President al-Assad

Analysis # 1873: Hillary Clinton & Kofi Annan regarding Syria

Analysis # 55: What is Bill Clinton Saying?


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2125:
Presidential Debate Body Language -
George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot 1992

Why did George H.W. Bush look at his watch during the 1992 Presidential Debates? Pundits said he shouldn't have done so because, "It made him look bored". While many may have come to this conclusion and it certainly was a horrendous mistake - the real reason Bush did this was he was feeling considerable anxiety. The "watch check" (at 0:02 - 0:04) is a very common body language signal of a nervous emotional tone. As the President stood up he then performed another nonverbal anxiety tell - he pulled up his pants and adjusted his belt (0:04 - 0:07). Yet another anxiety tell was his left hand going into his pants pocket (0:56) This has even greater significance (thus more anxiety) because it was his dominant hand - Bush 41 was left-handed. In the context of a question being asked - a hand/hands will go into the pocket(s) for the same reasons that a turtle goes into his shell - for some protection. It's a strong signl of emotional dissonance - he wants a second term and yet he doesn't fully want to be in the debate - at least at this moment. This particular question made him feel very uncomfortable.

There is little doubt that Ross Perot and especially Bill Clinton sensed this and welcomed it - and pounced with their answers.

See also:

Analysis # 346: Rick Perry Forgets - 8 Republican Presidential Hopefuls Debate in Detroit - 60 seconds of Oops, Body Language and Empathy

Analysis # 915: Interpersonal Space ... and Candidates

A Watershed Body Language Moment: Nixon - Kennedy Debates 1960

Analysis # 1149: Who was More Nervous in the Debate - Santorum, Romney, Gingrich or Paul?
Analysis # 717: A Tale of Two Ricks, Where to Point .... and Not to Point 

Analysis # 1499: Bill Clinton's Empathy for Eric Fehrnstrom and Mitt Romney .... What's YOUR Sincerity Quotient?

Analysis # 1865: Five Presidents in the Oval Office - Who has the Lowest Confidence? Who is the Least Comfortable?

Analysis # 441: Bill Clinton's Rapport and His Temporary Universe



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2124:
This Body Language-Facial Display
Should always make you think "Insincere"

When a person is experiencing physical or emotional pain - either directly or indirectly via empathy, the muscles of the central forehead are very often contracted (and the peripheral forehead is relaxed). In these emotional states, the mouth should have a co-existing sadness or fear expression.

When the central forehead muscles are contracted (CFC) - AND there is a simultaneous mouth smile/pseudo-smile - this should always make you think insincerity. Depending on what other signals are present, it can also signal arrogance, contempt or incredulity. From time to time we all display this highly characteristic body language tell - but there are some who display it chronically. Needless to say, chronic insincerity is a huge red flag. Between the two men pictured here - Paul Ryan and Barack Obama, one displays it far more often - who?

When you see this body language cluster ask yourself: 

How often does this person display these nonverbals?
Are their words consistent with insincerity, arrogance, contempt or disbelief?
What body language sign immediately preceded this? 


Friday, September 21, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2123:
The "White Widow" Samantha Lewthwaite's -
What does Her Falsified Passport Photo Tell Us?

This image is taken from a falsified South African passport (alias Natalie Faye Webb) used by Samantha Lewthwaite aka “The White Widow”.  Her husband, Germaine Lindsay, was one of the suicide bombers whom on 7 July 2005 collectively killed 52 innocent people and wounded over 700 in four terrorist attacks targeting London public transportation system - three nearly simultaneous acts against Underground trains and another later on a double-decker bus. Initially, Ms. Lewthwaite, who had two children with Lindsay, denied his involvement. Later when forensic evidence proved the contrary, she said that her husband’s “innocent, naive and simple” mind had been “poisoned”. She is now believed to be a member of a terrorist cell with activity in East Africa. Along with Scotland Yard the Kenyan police are on the hunt for her. It is believed she may be recruiting and training an all-female group of Mujahid (holy warriors) and to have crossed into Tanzania on Boxing Day 2011.

Lewthwaite’s faked passport photo shows several signals consistent with contempt-arrogance. A highly characteristic nonverbal displayed here is her left nostril flaring. This coexists with a slight left-sided bias smile – which in this context is another clear body language signal betraying her true feelings. Since this was a counterfeit passport, this expression betrays a version of “duping delight”.  Another facial configuration signifying contempt-arrogance is her partially closed “droopy” lids (Care must be taken to eliminate ptosis - that is, droopy lids from a medical, surgical, traumatic, congenital, etc. causes – which here, when compared with older photos is not present).

She of course knew the purpose of her home-made passport and when this photo was taken she was unquestionably feeling contempt. If you’re interrogating a person with these facial signals as a suspect or questioning them during a deposition – you need to dig deeper. And if you’re picking a jury, eliminate immediately anyone with this cluster of nonverbals.

See also:

Analysis # 457: Salman Rushdie - and a Contempt Amplifier

Analysis # 2059: Musharraf has Contempt towards Pakistan's Intelligence Agency

Analysis # 2111: Mitt Romney on Libya Embassy Killings - Multiple Contempt Displays

Analysis # 2115: Prince Harry in Afghanistan - Incredulity & Contempt

Analysis # 2050: George Zimmerman's Interview on Fox - Microexpression of Contempt and Duping Delight

Analysis # 140: Duping Delight Microexpression


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2122:
Eyes White and Wide -
Three Body Language Examples with
Two Different Emotional Causes

This video has three great nonverbal examples of two different emotions - that to the casual observer may seem identical - but are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The reporter's (Dan) eyes are opened extra-wide at the 0:15 mark, again at 0:16 and again at 0:18 - 19. During all three of these segments, his forehead is also actively contracted (with horizontal furrows) - which is difficult to see with his hat on, but is most clearly visible at the 0:16 mark. In this context this is a strong nonverbal signal of  insincerity and a form of pseudo-surprise. In true surprise the eyes flash widely open - but very briefly - and not repeatedly. If it lasts longer than a second or two - it is false. Sincere surprise also is followed rapidly by a second emotion (later this happens here - see below - but it's not immediate and occurs for a different reason). True surprise will have a rapid and widely open mouth, typically with a vertical oval shape. When this furrowed forehead is seen often - particularly with widely opened eyes - it's a red flag for a personality of insincerity. Steer clear.

The body language of fear for this infant has a significantly different forehead. There is an absence of horizontal furrows (folds) and for the most part it's relatively smooth - but with significant fear - as is displayed by this infant ("Drew the farm kid") - has a wide V-shaped bulging of muscles, the vertex of which meets between the tightly pulled together and downward directed inner eyebrows. Note his eyes are also opened very widely - which is classic for fear.

Interestingly at the 0:30 second mark, Dan the reporter also flashes a microexpression of fear - which unlike his earlier false-surprise-insincerity - IS sincere. He just made a child cry - and he's on live T.V.

At the 0:37 - 0:45 mark the male anchor is simultaneously covering BOTH of his eyes with his notes - usually performed with the hands - this a classic body language sign of empathy based embarrassment and emotional processing. He knows what just transpired, but he's still emotionally processing it. Then he still looks away (rotating his head far to his right) and then expresses a fear-mouth (0:46 - 0:47) - still empathizing with the reporter and/or child).

See also:

Analysis # 1171: Not So Fast Swift .... Taylor's False Surprise

Analysis # 1003: Obama's Dropped Jaw Smile

Analysis # 133: Blake Lively - Surprise or a Smile or Neither?

Analysis # 1261: True Surprise - Rarely Captured - Christine Lagarde


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2121:
Mitt Romney's 47 Percent - The Hidden Video

By now most all of you have seen several clips of the hidden video of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser this past spring (displayed here in two segments from their source at Mother Jones via YouTube). What can be learned from the limited amount of body language that is visible to us?

With respect to nonverbals, only Mitt's hand movements can be seen with any clarity. Hand/arm gestures (not including self-touching configurations) are termed "Illustrators" (although there are  additional types of illustrators which don't involve the hands or arms). These nonverbals are used to emphasize and highlight the accompanying verbal messages. Mr. Romney has a strong tendency NOT to use illustrators very much. During his speech responding to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision regarding the "Affordable Care Act" (aka Obamacare), Mitt Romney never used his hands - even once. However during an interview explaining when exactly his CEO status at Bain Capital changed - he displayed illustrators in great abundance (for Mitt this was an exception). During his RNC acceptance speech his illustrator use was somewhat intermediate (3 or 4 out of 10).

When a speaker uses nonverbal illustrators in a congruent manner with his verbal messages, they are in general, being more honest, more assertive, more impassioned and they build more rapport (the topic of illustrators can be extensively nuanced). Their audience will also have greater recall. If a person suddenly diminishes their illustrator use - or uses them very minimally, they tend not to be trusted and will have more difficulty building rapport.

During much of this candid video of Mr. Romney's fundraising speech, Mitt used illustrators throughout as he speaks - indicating a high level of sincerity and passion. Mr. Romney very much  meant what he said.

See also:


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2120:
Barack Obama on David Letterman's Show
Response to Mitt Romney's 47% Remark

This video segment of President Obama on the David Letterman Show is just 1:20 in duration - however there are several interesting body language tells. Here are two of them:

When David Letterman asks the President about his interpretation of Mitt Romney's now infamous "47% remark" - note how Obama remains leaning back in his chair with his legs crossed (doing his best Matt Lauer). While the President certainly wants to relax - he should take care NOT to come off disengaged. He would have been well-advised to plant both feet on the floor, a bit wider apart than his shoulders - and leaned forward as he answered David's question. His backward-leaning, legs-crossed configuration gives the impression of aloofness and does not build rapport or engage the electorate.

At the 1:05 mark - just a fraction of a second after he says, "hard working" and just before he says "family" - the President displays a classic microexpression of contempt (play these few seconds several times, it may be difficult to see initially). This lasted less than 0.1 second, yet it is a highly reliable nonverbal signal of Barack Obama's emotional tone - at that moment.

See also:

Analysis # 2093: Ann Curry's Tearful Goodbye - Matt Lauer's Classic "Tongue-in-Cheek" and Duplicitous Smile (part II)

Analysis # 1912: Ann Curry's Tearful Goodbye - Matt Lauer's Insincerity (part I)

Analysis # 2059: Musharraf has Contempt towards Pakistan's Intelligence Agency

Analysis # 1407: Auboni Champion-Morin Reunited with Kidnapped Son After 8 Years - Microexpression of Contempt

Analysis # 2050: George Zimmerman's Interview on Fox - Microexpression of Contempt and Duping Delight

Analysis # 1515: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's Numerous Microexpresions and Subtle Displays of Contempt


Monday, September 17, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2119:
Shaun White's Mug Shot -
The Flying Tomato's Body Language Tells ....

Shaun White was arrested yesterday in Nashville, Tennessee. He's being charged with vandalism and intoxication. The snowboarding wizard allegedly pulled a fire alarm at the Lowes Vanderbilt Hotel resulting in an evacuation of the guests. He is also is alleged to have destroyed a phone.

In his mug shot image above, the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist's mouth is almost neutral. His forehead shows mild signals of active contraction - exemplified by his elevated eyebrows (slightly more on his left). 

His eyes are the primary areas of interest - displaying some key nonverbals.

In the image below, look carefully at the eye lids. His left lower lid is about 2 mm below the juncture of the cornea/sclera (limbus) while his right lower lid is about 1.5 mm below the limbus. In a resting and relaxed emotional state the limbus is supposed to meet the lower lid margins. Both sides are swollen (mildly on the right, mild-to-moderately on his left) - otherwise the margins of his lids would be retracted even further and display even more "white of the eye" (sclera). This is would also be true of Shaun's upper lids. 


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Intelligence Quiz # 2118:
Princess Kate's Subtle Emotions - What do YOU see?

Maybe you've heard. Princess Kate is at the center of attention. Again. Photographs have been published in a French magazine, Closer and the Irish Daily Star (an Irish tabloid) of her sunbathing topless. Monday morning an Italian magazine Chi says it will publish more - despite a lawsuit by Britain's Royal Family. Closer and Chi both are published by Italian media group, Modadori - which is owned by the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. What would you be feeling if you were in her shoes? In the above (very recent) image, which emotion is the Duchess of Cambridge's body language displaying? 

What's your Nonverbal I.Q. tellin' you?

A. Anger
B. Pride
C. Guilt
D. Sadness
E. Excitement
F. Happiness
G. Satisfaction
H. Shame
I. Disgust
J. Contempt
K. Amusement
L. Embarrassment
M. Surprise
N. Relief
O. Fear
P. Pleasure

See also:

Analysis # 2117: The People of Libya - Recognizing Subtle Emotions

Analysis # 1515: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's Numerous Microexpressions and Subtle Displays of Contempt

Analysis # 2111: Mitt Romney on Libya Embassy Killings - Multiple Displays of Contempt

Analysis # 1077: We Remember the People of Hama

Analysis # 83: The Subtle Turn-Away

Analysis # 2115: Prince Harry in Afghanistan - Incredulity & Contempt


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2117:
The People of Libya - Recognizing Subtle Emotions

How adept are you at recognizing subtle emotion? Virtually everyone can identify extreme anger, severe disgust or maximum fear. But it's amazing how many otherwise socially-skilled professionals mistake moderate, let alone minimal emotional manifestations.

The ability to discriminate subtle and evanescent emotions gives you an extreme advantage - whether it's in business, government or in your personal life that very few people possess. As you de-focus from the upper picture of this woman's eyes - to her face - then to an even wider view - did you change your nonverbal diagnosis? Now that you've seen all three - what does her body language tell you about her emotional tone? Are you sure?

See also:

Analysis # 2111: Mitt Romney on Libya Embassy Killings - Multiple Displays of Contempt

Analysis # 2116: Michele Bachman's Hands and Seeing between the lines

Analysis # 1890: Eric Holder has (Emotional) Contempt toward Darrell Issa - while Rep. Issa is Very Excited to be Seeking "Contempt of Congress" against Holder

Analysis # 1824: Mexican Political Candidate Natalia Juarez - Subtle Contempt

Analysis # 1055: The Subtle Lip Purse

Analysis # 114: Subtle Emotional Test


Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2116:
Michele Bachman's Hands and
Seeing between the lines

During the 0:14 - 0:18 segment and again at 0:19 of this video, Michele Bachmann (R-MN) points with both hands/index fingers at her audience. The two-handed index finger (aka forefinger) point is almost exclusively used in political settings - specifically where the speaker is in front of a crowd with similar ideologies. It is rare (and extremely unwise) to see it displayed when a candidate is trying to garner votes from the independently-minded. Forefinger pointing with even one hand (seen at 0:26) should never be used outside a highly partisan political audience scenario - as it is a cross-culturally and universally offensive gesture. 

The two-handed point is used to try and demonstrate a super-alpha, highly assertive/aggressive stance - and here Ms. Bachmann is displaying it deliberately and consciously. To the casual observer it may appear that the congresswoman is highly confident here - but the truth lies in "reading" (seeing) between the nonverbal lines. Note that during 0:00 - 0:09, 0:18 - 0:19, 0:20 - 0:26 and 0:28 the Minnesota politician displays hand-to-hand touching. In body language nomenclature this is a form of a MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor or Pacifier) and it is a strong indicator of beta behavior and low confidence. Indeed at the 0:20 - 0:26 and again at 0:28, Bachmann is actively massaging/rubbing/picking at the fingers on her right hand - a signal of considerable anxiety. Thus the conscious display (the double point) - indicates FALSE/FEIGNED confidence, while the UNconscious behavior body language (MAP, self-touching) indicates the TRUE emotional tone