Sunday, March 3, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2321:
Cardinal Timothy Dolan on "Face the Nation"
Problems in Catholic Church & Electing a New Pope
Clergy are Not Exempt from Body Language Tells ...

Father Timothy Dolan, a Cardinal in the Catholic Church (and the current Archbishop of New York) was interviewed today on "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer. Mr. Schieffer did a good job holding the Cardinal's feet to the fire. This interview is extremely full of body language - and it would take many pages to completely dissect it all - a few of the highlights follow.

A reminder: This website serves as an objective reference source for the science and art of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc. are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts – not to advance any political or religious agenda.

Scheiffer: "Well there is also, ah, your Eminence, things like the cover-up of sexual, ah, crimes, pedophiles. You got the Cardinal from California, ah, who was accused of, ah, of not being candid about things out there on that front. Are we going to hear something about that because, I take your point about all of the points that you just made, I, I understand that - but what we read about and what we hear about are some of these very unsavory, ah, things that have come to light. How, how seriously do the cardinals take these things your Eminence?"

Dolan: "We have to take with the utmost seriousness, and we have to have a sense of contrition (microexpression of contempt on Dolan's left at 5:19), realism, ahhh, about, about confronting that (another microexpression of contempt, this one more prominent at 5:22). You're dead right. There's no ca..., there's no cardinal with ah, (another microexpression of contempt at 5:25) his head in the sand when it comes to these issues."

With respect to (some of the) paralanguage and statement analysis here, it is particularly telling that Dolan uses a double negative - "...there's no cardinal with ah, his head in the sand ...." rather than saying something such as "...we are fully aware..." or we're all cognizant of what's transpiring", etc. There are other statement analysis tells here as well. Can you spot them?

Microexpressions are very evanescent and subtle and thus are best appreciated by watching the video.

Dolan continues later, "...So it shouldn't, it shouldn't surprise us that the afflictions of the World, and you just named some of them -  sexual immorality, perversion, abuse of children - that affects all elements of society - are particularly hideous when it comes to The Church - and that that will be an issue? - I predict it will". During the last segment of this statement (5:46 - 5:47), Dolan displays the "Double okay sign". Emblems such as this one exemplified here, have different meaning in different cultures. Throughout most of North America and parts of Europe, holding the tip of one's index finger (forefinger) to the tip of the thumb (on the same hand) while making a circle or oval signifies "okay". In much of the Northern Mediterranean region, such as Greece, Italy and Vatican City (the smallest country in the World, landlocked within Rome) as well as Brazil, much of Russia and Turkey (other countries as well) - this same emblem indicates a sexual insult or an orifice. Just across the Mediterranean - in Tunisia (and in France and Belgium too) it means worthless or zero.

Cardinal Dolan should be very aware of any cultural variations of body language/gestures he is using - particularly this one - since a dramatic disproportion of the Catholic Cardinals are from Europe and Italy is represented more than any other country by far. He is surrounded by people who will take this body language derogatorily. Some politicians, most of them American, use the "okay sign" as a more friendly way of pointing (many often over-use it and thus appear insincere and its excessive use may be interpreted as patronizing). Initially it is learned and thus forced until it becomes habit - thus the subconscious slowly takes over the initiation and use of this political point. However, outside traditional politics, it is significantly rare to see this gesture used in this fashion. And although such political pointing is probably the context here, Cardinal Dolan's use of a nonverbal - in what in his native land indicates "okay" when he says, "...are particularly hideous when it comes to The Church..." is very significant. 

After Cardinal Dolan says, "...I predict it will.", his lips take on the configuration of a forward pointing Lip Purse (at 5:52 mark, below). This contradicts his verbal prediction. Said another way, Dolan does not believe that sexual abuse scandal within the Church will be addressed in the next several days as part of picking a new pope. A forward lip purse is a highly reliable signal of clandestine disagreement - a significant disparity between what is spoken and what is emotionally being felt and thought. 

Some other significant nonverbal signals:

When asked, "...Should priests be allowed to marry?" Cardinal Dolan bites his left lower lip (at 6:02) signaling significant anxiety.

When asked, "Should women be allowed to become priests?", The Archbishop of New York displays an inward lip roll (6:04 - 6:07) - significant of anxiety and the attempt to suppress a display of strong emotions - here (as evidenced by his clenched jaw and tightened "mustache area") the emotion he's suppressing is anger.

The double index finger (forefinger) point is seen at 6:46. This is a hyper-alpha, hyper dominant display. A single index finger point is a very negative gesture across virtually every culture on the planet. A double display is over-the-top. Politicians will use this (subconsciously) in front of politically friendly crowds to stir up their political base when they are running for office - however that is relatively unusual and ill-advised. Heads of state rarely use this. It shows cultural insensitivity - regardless of the country or region in question. And while we all - occasionally to rarely - use this negative gesture - we should not. When it's used often - it's highly consistent with narcissism.

See also:

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1407:  Auboni Champion-Morin  Reunited with Kidnapped Son After 8 Years -  Microexpression of Contempt for kidnapper

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2172: Governor Chris Christie's Body Language of Contempt -  Microexpressions and Subtle Displays

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

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

Negotiation Secret # 339:  Dwayne Wade to David Stern - "Don't Point at Me! I am not your child!"

Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1995:  Barack Obama, Social Darwinism and the Political Point

Negotiation Secret # 146: Anthony Weiner's Inward Lip Roll

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2268:  Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Kathryn Bigelow & Jessica Chastain - Body Language at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards