Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2186:
Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus,
Body Language and the man who would be President ....

Paula Broadwell, the woman who is alleged to have had an extra-marital affair with former CIA Director and four star General David Petraeus, is interviewed here by Jon Stewart.

There are many interesting body language signals in this video. The following are but two examples which involve eye movements as a nonverbal epiphenomenon of thought and emotional processing:

The vast majority of right-handed people (as is Broadwell) will look down to their right when thinking about issues which, for them, have a high emotional tone. This quadrant also correlates highly to kinesthetic issues. Broadwell looks down to her right at numerous times though out this interview regarding Patraeus. In this context, this eye movement is a highly reliable body language signal that Broadwell had, at the very least, a high level of affection for David Patraeus. One of many great examples of Broadwell's quadrant glances is seen at 1:47 when Stewart says, ".... Is he awesome or incredibly awesome?" Had this been a person with whom she had no affection for, Ms. Broadwell would not repeatedly display this very telling nonverbal.

Another interesting body language signal is correlated to a different direction of gaze - up and to the right. At 5:50 - 5:51 and again at 5:54, Paula Broadwell looks to her upper right quadrant just as Stewart presses her on whether or not Petraeus will be running for President one day. A right-handed person, the vast majority of the time, when they look up to the right - is visually constructing a future event or a past event which they had not witnessed. In this case, since Jon Steward was asking her about this highly specific future scenario and Petraeus' personal plans to which precious few would be privy - her two brief glances to this quadrant signifies that, at the time, she believed a future bid for the Presidency was highly likely. It does not prove that she and the General definitely discussed this possibility - but since she was his biographer and perhaps much more - it is highly suggestive Petraeus had Presidential aspirations.

It is important to note, that while these and other eye movements are not 100% reliable, when a person's nonverbal behavior is "normed" and found to be highly correlated - which occurs a very high percentage of the time, they can be highly reliable.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1709: Peyton Manning's Agent Does Not Fully Believe 

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2185:  Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus, an Alpha Personality and a  Telling Body Language Signal ....