Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2367:
North Korea, Jay Carney and
Body Language Tells from the White House Press Room

Yesterday Jay Carney downplayed the possibility that North Korea has any capability of deploying a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile. In this video the While House Press Secretary is displaying body language clusters of high confidence and the belief that he is in the right. He is the senior person in the room and he knows it. He is the alpha dog.

At two times in this video (0:00 - 0:03 and 1:21 - 1:24) he shows us the pseudo-prayer. This high alpha display is amplified by additional up and down chopping motion. These displays are relatively brief (3 seconds each) and it should always be so (3 seconds is even too long), lest they have the opposite effect and backfire - projecting arrogance and a patronizing mindset.

At several times Mr. Carney goes up on his toes (e.g., 0:05, 0:13, etc.). Although in other contexts it indicates joy-happiness, in this cluster context it signifies a very high level of confidence. More Alpha behavior. It is helpful to think of these nonverbals as body language exclamation points.

Exaggerated mouth movements, above and beyond what is normally needed to pronounce words is also a common signal of over-alpha behavior. Jay Carney exemplifies this multiple times (e.g., 0:02, 0:24, 0:43, etc.).

The pseudo-prayer with hand chop, the up on toes maneuver and the exaggerated pronunciation mouth movements are all nonverbals seen in the context of high alpha personalities - when they are the most powerful one in the room or immediate area. However, if Barack Obama walked in, despite having no change in his stance on the issues at hand, Carney - then would suddenly become a junior-alpha and thus would not display any of these characteristic body language tells. 

Multiple other great nonverbal tells were displayed in the White House Press Room yesterday. Did you spot the microexpression of empathy Jay Carney projected towards the North Korean people at 1:55 - with a very brief central forehead contraction (CFC) clustered with a slight frown? How about several contempt displays (one of these was particularly atypical)?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2282:  Jay Carney and the Dominant Spider - White House Press Secretary's Body Language re:  National Labor Relations Board Vacancies

Nonverbal Communication Analysis #2291:  A Tight Fist and Tension in The Face - Jay Carney's Body Language as he defends  Chuck Hagel's performance during  Senate Confirmation Hearings

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2228:  Jay Carney's Body Language -  Contempt disguised as a Sniff ....  for Republicans' Solutions to the Fiscal Cliff

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2313:  Elisa Lam Video in Elevator at Cecil Hotel -  What Her Body Language Tells Us ...

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2136:  Some Body Language Highlights from  First Obama - Romney Presidential Debate in Denver

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2042:  Syrian Government Defector - Nawaf al-Fares