Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2167:
Colin Powell Endorses President Obama -
His Body Language Display of Anxiety, Contempt & the
Self-Righteous Head Wiggle

Colin Powell appeared on CBS This Morning on Thursday 25 October and in that interview by Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell, he endorsed Barack Obama for President. There are a lot of Body Language examples here, but here is a particularly interesting nonverbal tell: 

Probably the most interesting signal occurs at 0:31 - 0:32 when Colin Powell bites his right lower lip just before he endorses President Obama. Interpreting lip biting is very contextual and its meaning depends on the other signals present in the "nonverbal sentence" - thus an example of a "Nonverbal Homonym". At the 0:32 he also displays a bilateral eyelid flutter (very rapid opening and closing). This nonverbal cluster is a outward display of anxiety. The former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is a very accomplished and highly experienced professional - yet he is still human. And for some reason this endorsement or proclaiming it on T.V. makes him nervous. We cannot know the precise reason for his anxiety, but we can be absolutely sure he experienced it here.

Colin Powell's mouth is noticeably asymmetrical when he speaks - this is his baseline. Such asymmetry makes some nonverbal interpretation more difficult. However at several times he displays subtle microexpressions of contempt. Examples of these are seen at the 2:42 and 2:47 speaking with reference to his recent conversations with Mitt Romney and again at 5:11 when speaking about the need for a country with the U.S.'s size and wealth to have universal health care. All these mouth-lower face, unilateral, contempt displays are on Powell's left.

Colin Powell also displays multiple "Self-Righteous Head Wiggles" (SRHW) and similar analogs in this interview -  well exemplified at 3:28 - 3:29 (when speaking about his view of Mitt Romney's foreign policy) and again at 4:55 - 4:56 (when he said,  ".... you have to fix some things in that plan ...." in reference to Obamacare).

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis #1806: Hot, Homonyms, Clusters & Context - Interpreting Body Language Accurately

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 411: Lip Biting with Intense Physical Activity

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 531: Sarkozy's Mouth Tells Us What He's Feeling

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 30: Lip Biting on a Defensive Tackle

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 813: Ask Osama Bin Laden Appeasement

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 351: Never Let 'em See You Sweat

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2164: Mitt Romney's Disgust Display regarding President Obama's Relationship with Putin and Russia - ".... I'll give you more flexibility after the election ...."

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2146: Biden vs. Ryan Vice Presidential Debates - Both Candidates Displayed Body Language of Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2102: The Self-Righteous Head Wiggle and the Conventional Steeple vs. Basketball Steeple

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2158: Kennebunk Maine, Alexis Wright, Prostitution & Spotting the Body Language of the Self-Righteous

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2148: Joe Biden vs. Paul Ryan and the "Self-Righteous Head Wiggle" in the Vice Presidential Debate

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