Saturday, December 8, 2012

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2220:
Harry Reid on Jim DeMint's Retirement -
A Body Language Tell of Insincerity

In this video, Harry Reid (D-NV) comments on Jim DeMint's (R-SC) recent announcement of his intention to retire from the U.S. Senate. At two times the Senate Majority Leader comments on "believe" & "belief" which are contradicted by his body language. At 0:35, when Reid says, "...I personally believe", he gestures towards his sternum or manubrium (towards his heart) but never touches it. A few seconds later, at 0:36 - 0:38, he displays a similar nonverbal when he says, "...He does this out of a sense of real belief". In this second gesture, Senator Reid touches only with his fingertips. If these feelings of "belief" (the first Reid's own, the second which is implied empathy for DeMint) were sincere, we would have seen in both circumstances, a touching with the whole palm of the hand - aka a "Palmar Touch". This insincere body language signal is, of course, seen just as commonly in all political parties.

In this scenario a Palmar Touch would signify sincerity and empathy. Clustered with other nonverbals (not seen in or applicable to this context), it can also indicate affection, ownership and belonging.

It is intriguing to note that, from a paralanguage standpoint, the word "personally" in Reid's first statement, and "real" in the second, are not necessary if the feelings were sincere. They are a epiphenomena of compensatory behavior and also betray his true emotional tone.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2216: Senator Jim DeMint's Body Language - Lip Purse, Suppressed Smile, Duping Delight & Retiring Early

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1900: Palmar Touch of another Person, an Animal or Object

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1866:  Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth are Engaged -  An Affection-Love Sincerity Signal
Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2183: Barack & Michelle Obama's Tweet - The Palmar Touch, Body Language and an Affectionate Hug

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1829: Dara Torres Interview with Piers Morgan - Embarrassment,  Visual Recall, Sexual Anticipation Lip Biting &  Sincerity Quotients

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2143: Meyers and Bailey Leonard - The Illini, The Marine & The Reunion -  Emotional Processing & Sincerity

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2207:  Body Language, Sincerity and Mahmoud Abbas  United Nations grants Palestine "Nonmember Observer State"