Friday, May 31, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2415:
Yanira Maldonado released from Mexican Jail
What's Up with her Eyes?
Atypical Body Language of White & Wide Eyes

Yanira Maldonado was recently released from a Mexican Jail yesterday. She had been falsely charged with possession of twelve pounds of Marijuana. She displays some unusual facial nonverbals here and in multiple other videos. One in particular is that her upper eyelids open very widely at multiple times.

Several emotions should spring to mind when you see this "White and Wide" appearance of the eyes. One is fear, another is severe anger (rage) and a third is surprise. None of these emotions are present here however. Another possible cause is medical - lid retraction can be a sign of hyperthyroid disease.

People also open their eyes extra wide when they are emphasizing certain points during conversation - but this rarely happens without a coexisting forehead muscular contraction (particularly so often). Such a forehead contraction only occurred twice during this video clip - once at 0:50 when she says, "...children..." and another time at 0:54 when she says " guys..." Even during these two occasions her forehead is considerably hypo-reactive.

The reason for Ms. Maldonado's prolonged, repeated and extreme eyelid opening is secondary to botox treatments to her forehead. While not a common side effect of botox, it is certainly not rare. When the forehead cannot move as it typically does, the eyelids will over dramatically over-compensate and open in this extreme fashion. This can give a very unusual appearance that most often people will describe as fear - but also angry or even "creepy".  Two additional examples are shown below.

What other unusual body language - facial expression do you see in this video which is another "False Fear" signal?

Michele Bachmann with a "False Fear" appearance secondary to Botox.

Callista Gingrich with a "False Fear" face secondary to botox.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2338:  Why Does Keit Pentus-Rosimannus feel Fear? Body Language of Estonia's Minister of Environment

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2344:  Jillian Michaels Body Language - Neck of Fear & Mouth of Fear

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2402:  Partial & Subtle Expressions of Fear - Young Girls Saved From Drowning by Man & his Dog

Body Language Secret # 702:  Mouth of Fear,  trying to Smile and Forehead of Pain

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1106:  Subtle Fear Display of al-Assad

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1696:  George Zimmerman's Testimony - Fear, Incredulity, Regret & Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2297:  Rooney Mara on Conan O'Brien - Common Body Language Tell  Fear Apology Query Expression-Cluster 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2274:  The Eyes & Mouth of Fear - Body Language of Ahmed Dogan during  Attempted Assassination


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2414:
Sen. John McCain after his Trip to Syria -
Body Language of Regret and Contempt

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) just returned from a trip to Syria. It is well known that Sen. McCain has long believed the United States should supply weapons to the Syrian Rebels (those forces opposed to Bashar al Assad). When Anderson Cooper asks him about his feelings after direct experience while in Syria, Sen. McCain displays some telling facial expressions.

What makes his particular facial nonverbals more difficult to dissect is the fact that Sen. McCain has residual facial nerve (Cranial Nerve VII) palsy (when no causes are found after a complete medical evaluation, this is referred to as Bell's Palsy). This leaves his left forehead, eyebrow, cheek and mouth corner mildly hypo-reactive and "droopy" - thus making his expressions more complex than most to accurately assess.

At 0:06, the left corner of John McCain's mouth pulls primarily laterally (note dynamic dimple adjacent to left mouth) - signaling the emotion of regret. 

There are other nonverbal manifestations of regret - Do you know these?

At 0:07, we can see significantly greater upward vectoring and tightening of McCain's Cheek and the left portion of his "mustache area" - consistent with a greater contempt emotional component.

The Senator has slight nose asymmetry leaving his baseline configuration of a left nostril (nostril dilation aka nasal flaring) larger than his right - implying contempt

Bilateral closing of the eyelids in this context is contempt amplifier.

In summary Senator McCain feels two emotions here - first regret followed rapidly by contempt.  What other nonverbal signals do you see in this video?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2320:  Estonian Skier Andrus Veerpalu  Denies Performance Enhancing Drugs -  What his Body Language Tells Us

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1517:  Signals of Acquiescence and Regret  Rick Santorum Drops Out

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2408:  Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Anxiety & Regret via  Senators Graham & McCain - Republican Body Language in Response to  President Obama's National Defense University Speech

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2323:  Jodi Arias Murder Trial  The Body Language of Unilateral Regret vs. Contempt

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2350:  Contempt - both dramatic and subtle -  Backpedaling and Body Language

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1267:  John McCain, Sarah Palin and Bell's Palsy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2312: Bruce Willis' Body Language - Contempt vs. Suppressed Smile vs. Pseudo Smile vs. Sincere Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2384:  Bashar al-Assad on 1 May 2013 - Demure, Beta and Nervous - Body Language Lessons on how NOT to appear Confident


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2412:
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the Woolwich attack
and the Killing of Lee Rigby

In the now well-documented attack and killing of U.K. Soldier Lee Rigby, Ms. Ingrid Loyau-Kennett has become a heroine. In the video above, this cub scout leader and former teacher recounts the events of that day. Although she arrived after Rigby's death, her incredibly brave actions of speaking with the attackers in such a calm, non-inflammatory and De-escalating manner, in may peoples' minds, acted to talk down the attackers and help prevent further violence.

During this interview in a 10 second period (freeze-framed below), Ms. Loyau-Kennett displays multiple nonverbals as she relives the traumatic events. In body language parlance such simultaneous displays or those in short time periods are known as "Clusters".

Here (1:50 mark) as a combination MAP/MAP surrogate (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier), Ms. Loyau-Kennett holds her own hand in a near fig-leaf configuration while she twists her ring. This is a clear and significant anxiety indicator. It is also notable that her central eyebrows are raised in a mild-moderate contraction of her central forehead (CFC) which conveys her strong emotional pain - as well as empathy for the physical and emotional pain for the fallen soldier.

"Full Palmar Contact" over her sternum and left chest (over her heart) conveys a high sincerity quotient. She maintains this "heartfelt"configuration (also a type of MAP) for several seconds (see below).

Her central forehead contraction is more pronounced in this moment (1:57). She can be seen pulling her head and upper torso backwards as she makes a deep inhalation - more anxiety (1:56).

Still maintaining full palmar contact, Ms. Loyau-Kennett exhales deeply (1:58) at the vivid memory. This is often referred to as the "Puffer Fish" and is seen primarily after (but sometimes before) major anxiety producing  events. Remember - although it may not me anxiety producing for you - it is for them.

Her CFC  and central (medial) eyebrow elevation persists.

In this image our heroin adjusts her hair just in front of her left ear. This is a variation of the much more common "Hair Adjust Behind the Ear" (HABE). The dynamics of this MAP are superiorly illustrated in the video (1:59). This is an indicator that this brave lady (already an alpha) is further dialing up her assertive qualities as her memory emotionally puts herself deeper in the moment of the attack. CFC persists although a bit less prominent here. 

Hand Flapping is exhibited at 1:59, and again at 2:04. This is common nonverbal and more open display of anxiety (more common but not exclusive to women and gay men). Often, hand flapping is a harbinger of tears. Hand flapping is consistent with both high sincerity and empathy quotients.

Ms. Loyau-Kennett's CFC is re-strengthened.

Although we cannot fully visualize her hand position here, Ingrid has once again adopted a near fig-leaf MAP at the 2:00 mark.

Her central forehead contraction (CFC) persists.

This interview is of course predictably laden with anxiety tells. However in many examples throughout your day - these and other nonverbals go unnoticed. How many crucial ones will you miss tomorrow?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2238:  Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Lauren Rousseau's  Boyfriend's Body Language - Grief & Suppression of Negative Emotions & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1910:  Natasha Smith Sexually Assaulted in Tahrir Square - Post Assault Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2275:  Lance Armstrong's Insincerity -  Body Language revealed in Oprah Winfrey Interview  Part III

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1808: Time Magazine's  Breast Feeding, Dr. William Sears, and Attachment Parenting Controversy - Shows Emotional Dissonance at Best

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2399:  Matthew McConaughey on David Letterman and a  Very Common Body Language Tell

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2189:  Jill Kelley's Body Language - Dialing Up Her Alpha ...

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1122:  Tiger, Pebble Beach and the Puffer Fish


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2411:
Zimmerman's Attorney, Mark O'Mara's -
Body Language Faux Pas in Court

George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara was in court today, along with John Guy, the assistant D.A. Zimmerman stands accused of second degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. What follows is an analysis of some of the body language O'Mara displayed.

Any attorney should be extremely cautious about using certain gestures (illustrators) in court. This is of course particularly important when facing towards or speaking to the judge. Here, O'Mara displays a palms-up/fingers open toward the judge. It is also at shoulder level - which is relatively high. While his fingers-open configuration down-regulates this somewhat, such a gesture is hyper-alpha and dismissive. There are of course times any attorney should dial up his/her alpha - but directing such emotion at the judge will offend and destroy rapport. The higher this and many other gestures are held, the greater the amplitude. O'Mara may very well direct this towards opposing counsel, certain witnesses, or Trayvon Martin if he were alive, etc.

During the 0:54 segment, O'Mara displays a clear duping delight. Many are difficult to see and much more evanescent. Although it still lasted less than one second and was a near microexpression - this example of a duping delight is considerably more obvious than many. It indicates that O'Mara believes Trayvon Martin was not the aggressor. This is a freshman mistake and yet a very human one.

A few seconds later at 0:59, O'Mara scratches just lateral to his left eye on the anterior aspect of his temple as he speaks about attributing aggressive behavior to Trayvon Martin's marijuana use several hours prior to his death.

This example of a facial MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) indicates that O'Mara does not believe his own statement regarding the assertion between violence and marijuana use.

The near-eye scratch above stands on its own, however a few seconds prior, Mr. O'Mara demonstrates transient increased blinking rate with mild prolonged lid closure. This cluster context is consistent with anxiety

In addition and well exampled here, is Mark O'Mara's "beta elbow configuration". He displayed this demure posture far too often throughout this video. When the elbow is held too close to the side of the torso during arm and hand illustrators - it indicates a lower degree of confidence. With some men this nonverbal behavior is not only scenario specific - it's used chronically. Of course the elbows should not be held too far away from the body - and any display of confidence can be over-alpha and thus can backfire (e.g., as above when he directs his palms toward the judge).

Whether in the courtroom, in a sales setting or in the midst of a negotiation, etc., striking the right, context-specific balance of alpha and beta - and the ability to know when to dial it up or dial it down is very crucial. When is the last time you destroyed rapport and didn't realize it?

See also:

Analysis # 1697: George Zimmerman in Shackles - How does this Alter His Body Language, Testimony and Our Perception?

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2050: George Zimmerman's Interview on Fox - Microexpression of Contempt and  Duping Delight

Analysis # 140 : Duping Delight Microexpression

Analysis # 1696: George Zimmerman's Testimony - Fear, Incredulity, Regret & Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2400:  One Way Deception be Minimized in the Court Room -  O.J. Simpson's in Court

Analysis # 1548: Trayvon Martin's Death - George Zimmerman and his First Court Appearance

Analysis # 1897: George Zimmerman's Reenactment of Trayvon Martin Shooting

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2310:  Oscar Pistorius' Body Language in Court - Part II  Central Forehead Contraction, Frown & Pupil Dilation ...

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2338:  Why Does Keit Pentus-Rosimannus feel Fear?  Body Language of Estonia's Minister of Environment


Monday, May 27, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2410:
Grant Acord, Oregon Student Suspect in School Bomb Plot -
Body Language Warning Signals

Another haunting yearbook picture of yet another troubled young man. This photo of Grant Acord demonstrates nonverbal signals of significant anger with components of rage. He was arrested at his mother's home in Albany, Oregon on 24 May 2013 for "aggravated attempted murder and six counts each of manufacturing a destructive device, possession of a destructive device and possession of a weapon with intent to use it against another person". He will be charged as an adult. Reportedly he was modeling his attack after the 1999 Columbine High School shooting where 12 students and a teacher in addition to the two perpetrators were killed and 21 others were injured. Luckily Acord's plans were thwarted before the 17 year old had a chance to act - as police were tipped off he had produced a bomb and intended to detonate it at West Albany High School.

Based on other more neutral images of Grant Acord, he is shown to clearly have ptosis - which a drooping of the eyelids. This is greater on his left than his right. The cause may be congenital (which is common), due to surgery, injury, etc. Contextualizing this information with the low resolution image above and conclude his eyelids are opened wider here than his normal - indicative of rage. Even without this information from other photos however, the tightened appearance of his lower lids conveys significant anger. In addition, his eyebrows are significantly depressed (lowered) - also consistent with an anger display.

Acord's lips and "mustache area" demonstrate increased tension. Specifically his upper lip in particular is thinned-out. Thinning of the lips is a highly reliable signal of anger. When this lip-thinning occurs - a secondary tension, stretching and thus a vertical elongation occurs of the "mustache area" occurs (the distance from the lower nose to the upper lip margins increase). Had this image been of higher resolution, this tension could be further demonstrated by a horizontal straightening of the Cupid's bow and loss of definition (and flattening along with skin blanching) of the two vertical lines of the philtrum (which connect the medial nostrils with the cupids bow).

Lastly, although Acord's nose anatomy appears to have a natural up-turn to it (making his nostrils more visible from a straight-on view), in the image above both his nostrils are flared (although some may me natural asymmetry) which here is either anger-rage or anger mixed with disgust.

It is interesting to speculate what a look though Acord's H.S. yearbook would bring. How many of his school mates demonstrate moderate or severe anger? It's highly doubtful this would be greater than 1%. Shy expressions, yes. Poor smiles, yes. But not anger. And while we all as human beings are entitled to feel angry at times, very few of us would express it or pose this way for a photo. Thus this may be very well a valid way to screen for potential violence (a retrospective large scale study or in time a prospective large scale study may show this). Something to consider.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2259:  Game Show Killer Rodney Alcala Gets Two More Sentences - His Body Language Warning Signs

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2231:  A Common Facial Expression of Mass Killers - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1696:  George Zimmerman's Testimony -  Fear, Incredulity, Regret & Contempt

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2310:  Oscar Pistorius' Body Language in Court - Part II  Central Forehead Contraction, Frown & Pupil Dilation ... 

Crime Prevention Signal # 12:  Mild to Moderate Disgust, Mohamed Osman Mohamud  Portland, Oregon Christmas Tree Lighting Bomb Plot

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2394:  Three Brothers from Cleveland  Onil, Pedro and Ariel Castro -  Kidnapping, Innocence, Guilt & Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2396:  Ariel Castro Caught on Dash-Cam in a Traffic Stop in 2008 -  Body Language of Self-Disgust, Anxiety &  Emotional Dissonance


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2409:
David Cameron & François Hollande -
Variations on the Hand Chop & Palm Orientation
(Video, Photos)

The following six images are isolated from the above video where U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is shown during his portion of a dual press conference with French President François Hollande. The two were meeting in Paris four days ago (22 May 2013) - the same day as the terrorist attack and brutal killing of U.K. soldier, Lee Rigby - although all of the images below are from portions of this speech when he was speaking on other issues.

David Cameron is a very good speaker with a similar level of nonverbal skills. He does at times though tend to use the "Vertical Hand Chop" excessively (and its variations). This is in part due to his tendency to speak in a rapid, staccato style - as if he were a barrister on the attack in court (but certainly not in all court matters) - or during particularly vigorous defense of an idea before Parliament. In such scenarios this may at times be very beneficial. In other contexts however, his speeches are more effective and he builds more rapport when he slows down and use a bit less alpha (sometimes hyper-alpha), and over-repetition of this hand chop.

The vertical hand chop is an alpha body language illustrator. There are versions of it which "amp up" the alpha qualities - as well as other modifications which give it more beta characteristics.

Here Mr. Cameron is chopping rapidly. Using this gesture with a higher speed increases its alpha and conversely, slowing it down increases the beta. Any leader should always contextualize the nonverbal with the verbal and the relative importance of the subtopic within the speech as a whole. Speeches have many of the characteristics of a good song. They have a crescendo & decrescendo qualities, verses, speed changes, etc. and all nonverbals should match the desired effect.

In this photo Mr. Cameron uses the hand chop with open - fingers. This configuration makes it less alpha and more beta.

Here we see Mr. Cameron using the vertical hand chop with his fingers tightly closed.

Increased tension in the hands is highly correlative with increased facial tension. Compare the U.K. leader's face and hand (high tension) in this image to that immediately above - where both are much less tense. This increased tension is consistent with more anger and increased relative priority with what is being discussed verbally (which of course is not always evident when only listening to the words). Such patterns are not only seen in political speeches - but are seen repeatedly evident in sales, court, mediation or negotiations.

Notable is how Cameron turns his palm partially up, with his fingers open in this gesture towards Hollande (and thus France). When displayed correctly, palms-up gestures are much more engendering of openness and collegiality - while still conveying authority and intelligence.

This is very much the opposite of the image immediately above, with Mr. Cameron using his palm turned partially down. His fingers are still open however.

Note again the contrast of the tension on the P.M.'s face here compared to when his palm is more up-turned.

Here Mr. Cameron is speaking about how strong Anglo-French cooperation on sharing tax information regarding corporations operating within Europe "...has helped to unlock a European agreement that I think will make a real difference for the future...."

Here his palm-partially oriented down and his twisting of his hand & wrist act as a visual nonverbal metaphor for the "unlocking" of which he speaks (a body language analog of an onomatopoeia). This configuration again also conveys the relative importance he feels about this subject and his/U.K.s role in it.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2061:  David Cameron Defends London Olympics against Mitt Romney's Remarks - Alpha Dominance and Illustrators - Matching Hands and Feet as Sincerity Amplifiers

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 493:  Contrasting David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy - Alpha & Beta Behaviors

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2064:  David Cameron & Boris Johnson - Wincing at Wimbledon

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 1019:  Cameron's Critical Cluster

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1287:  Barack Obama & David Cameron - Mirroring

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2037:  When Chanel Suits Don't Match the Body Language -  Christine Lagarde's High Anxiety

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1834:  Chelsea FC vs. Bayern Munich and the G8

NonverbaNonverbal Communication Analysis # 1705:  François Hollande & the French Presidential Election  The Pistol Steeple and Emotional Dissonance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1720:  Critical Evaluation, Disbelief & a Partial Emblematic Slip  Valérie Trierweiler & François Hollande 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2048:  The Arm Grip, Shoulder Touch and Back Touch Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 531:  Sarkozy's Mouth Tells Us What He's Feeling


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2408:
Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Anxiety & Regret via
Senators Graham & McCain -
Republican Body Language in Response to
President Obama's National Defense University Speech
(Video, Photo)

After President Obama speech two days ago at the National Defense University, Republican leaders gave their responses. The video above encapsulates John McCain's and Lindsey Graham's opinions; and although Kelly Ayotte's verbal response cannot be heard here (read transcript of her response here), her nonverbal responses were very telling.

Beginning at the 0:50 mark, Senator Graham says, "... I believe we're in a War that's not winding down ...". Immediately after this, Senator Ayotte rapidly reaches up with her left hand and rubs and/or scratches the top of her neck & base of her skull. The configuration of her arm does not leave her armpit exposed. While she maintains a fairly stoic poker face (but not perfect - see below) the display of this body language MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) is strong indicator that Graham's Statement is causing the junior Senator from New Hampshire some significant anxiety. It is particularly rapid (almost as if she was bitten by an insect) and also noteworthy is the direction of her elbow - pointed at Graham.

Now go back a few seconds to the 0:46 mark and watch carefully. At 0:49 just as Sen. John McCain says, "... Al Qaeda will be with us for a long time ...", the corners of Kelly Ayotte's mouth (more prominent on her left side) momentarily tighten primarily laterally and slightly upwards (without a nostril flare) in a fantastic example of a microexpression of regret. As with all microexpressions this it very evanescent and subtle. Some may mistake this nonverbal for a display of contempt - however in this moment she feels regret.

What other very telling body language did you see in the video?

Why are John McCain's facial expression sometimes asymmetric?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2316:  Jennifer Lawrence's Response to Her Oscar Stumble - Silver Linings Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2338:  Why Does Keit Pentus-Rosimannus feel Fear?  Body Language of Estonia's Minister of Environment

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2306:  George W. Bush trapped in Room - Body Language's Microexpression of Fear

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2050:  George Zimmerman's Interview on Fox - Microexpression of Contempt and  Duping Delight

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

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

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1267:  John McCain, Sarah Palin and Bell's Palsy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2315:  Daniel Day-Lewis Wins His 3rd Oscar - Even the Best Actors will  "Leak" Their True Feelings via Body Language ... Here via a Microexpression of Fear


Friday, May 24, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2407:
President Obama in Midst of Heckler -
A Subtle Sign of Significant Anger with
Emotional Dissonance (Video, Photos)

Yesterday President Obama spoke about his desire and plan to close the prison a Guantanamo Bay. During this portion of his speech at the National Defense University, he was repeatedly interrupted by Ms. Medea Benjamin of the advocacy group "Code Pink". She demanded he close the detention center immediately - without congressional approval.

When one takes an introductory physics course in classical mechanics, the instructor will have her/his class consider strings to be "mass-less" and wheels to be "friction-less" - even though neither exist. Rather these are constructs used to engender learning of Newtonian physics. Accounting for the mass of the string or the friction of the wheel is beyond the scope of a beginners' course. This post takes into account similar body language premises which are generally not taught to beginners and are difficult to capture and impossible to fully appreciate without the aid of video - and without first learning the basics.

Eventually Ms. Benjamin was removed from the room after which the President said, "...the voice of that woman, ah, is worth paying attention to. Obvious, obviously - ah, obviously I do not agree with much of what she said. And obviously she wasn't listening to me in much of what I said. But these are tough issues. And the suggestion that we can gloss over them is wrong." (3:52 - 4:22).

A fantastic body language moment was captured here - for during the earlier moments of this heckling, Mr. Obama showed a subtle sign of significant anger - relatively rare for the President.

This image was captured at 0:52 of the above video. Note the President's eyes - specifically the distance between his upper and lower eyelids. This configuration is consistent with the natural resting positions of his eyelids.

There is another subtle emotion being expressed nonverbally in this first photo - what is it?

This second image was taken at 0:53 in the video. Note his eyelids - while not extremely widely opened - they are significantly further apart than a one second before (above) or one second after (below). Whenever a smile is sincere - the eyelids will ALWAYS move closer together - NEVER further apart (as they have done in this moment). This expression is not quite as brief as a microexpression - yet it is still evanescent (lasting about one second) and just as significant.

One set of muscles (right and left) are trying to open the eyelids [levator palpebrae superioris & particularly the superior tarsal muscles which are sympathetically innervated and thus directed toward "fight or flight" responses of strong emotion] while another set are working to close them [orbicularis oculi (pars orbitalis)]. The former are winning this momentary tug of war with the net effect moving them further apart (versus his open eyelid resting state). This brief competing dynamic is a fantastic example of emotional dissonance - with the President feeling two emotions simultaneously (see below). Without the aid of the before or after pictures, or the video, this image would probably be falsely identified as "anywhere from a good social smile to a sincere smile" by many.

If the resolution of these images were higher, we would also see both of the President's pupils dilate along with his lid retraction. 

Another significant detail here is the direction of contraction of his cheek muscles (zygomaticus major). There is a significant lateral (sideways) component present - whereas with a PURE sincere (Duchenne) smile, the cheeks are contracted primarily in an upward direction.

The President is skillfully using a smile to suppress and shortly thereafter to melt away a very significant level of anger. He is very adept at recognizing negative emotions in their early stages (refractory period) and taking steps to negate them - something very few people can do.

Only a second later (0:54), Barack's anger is not able to be seen. There is however another new emotion subtly showing - what is it and what are its nonverbal characteristics?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1858:  What the Eyes Do - Transitioning from Mild to Severe Anger

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 353:  Brad Pitt's Smiling Eyes - Sincere and Insincere Smiles

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 1834:  Chelsea FC vs. Bayern Munich and the G8

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 1167:  Danica's Lips, Danica's Eyes - Subtle Anger

Negotiation Secret # 40: Can You Spot Mild Anger?

Negotiation Secret # 12:  Subtle Anger with Disrespect/Mistrust/Dislike

Negotiation Secret # 405: Carli Bruni & Dagger Eyes

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2152:  Second Presidential Debate - 16 October 2012 -  Barack Obama's Duping Delight -  Benghazi, Libya Attack was an "Act of Terror" -  Alpha, Beta, Confidence & Acquiescence ...


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2406:
Tight Lipped Breathing -
Anticipatory Anxiety & Winning a Million Dollars

Jamie Bone, a mother of two, wife and real estate agent - recently learned that she won $1,000,000 in the Powerball Lottery. The video above - which captures the moment she found out definitively, is packed full of body language. One nonverbal in particular is fairly unusual to capture. During the 0:17 - 0:19 segment, note how Ms. Bone, brings her lips together to create a small opening an breaths shallow and rapidly. This variety of "Tight Lipped Breathing" is very commonly seen just prior to, and in anticipation of significant and consequential event. The situation may be negative or positive in nature - and the outcome for those whom are expressing this tell - is unpredictable from their point of view

Tight lipped breathing (TLB), as noted above, is characterized by increased respiration rate - which is usually composed of shallow breaths. It also is consistent with an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline. The "Puffer Fish" which to the untrained eye looks somewhat similar to TLB - is also seen before, or more commonly after a stressful event - and is associated with a decreased blood pressure, respiration and heart rate. The puffer fish takes place during exhalation (although it may occur over several cycles of respiration) and has a calming effect - in contrast to the Tight Lipped Breathing nonverbal which increases anxiety.

See also:

Body Language Secret # 53: Charlie Rangel & The Puffer Fish

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1122: Tiger, Pebble Beach and the Puffer Fish

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2347:  Body Language, Jazz Hands and Powerball

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2396:  Ariel Castro Caught on Dash-Cam in a Traffic Stop in 2008 -  Body Language of Self-Disgust, Anxiety &  Emotional Dissonance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2399:  Matthew McConaughey on David Letterman and a  Very Common Body Language Tell

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2368:  John Kerry & Xi Jinping in Beijing to Discuss North Korea -  Body Language of Anxiety & Assertiveness

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2385:  Hillary Clinton & Henry Kissinger at  Atlantic Council's Leadership Awards  Her Body Language Betrays Anxiety at a Key Moment


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2405:
Anthony Weiner's Running For Mayor of New York
His Body Language & His Sincerity Quotient
(Video, Photos)

Anthony Weiner, former U.S. Congressman (resigned 2011) announced yesterday his candidacy for Mayor of New York City. He is of course infamous for his sexually laden tweets (2011) and then denying it on public record. His wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and herself highly respected - is standing faithful by his side.

Above is the Youtube video wherein Mr. Weiner announced he was running for office. One expression that you never want to see very much of on anyone, is a central forehead contraction (CFC). One common meaning of this nonverbal is physical or emotional pain. Such pain may be either experienced directly by whom is expressing it, or felt secondarily via empathy for another person(s) or animal(s). When either type of pain is the source of the CFC, there should NEVER be indication of a smile - not even a trace. If these two disparate nonverbals are seen together (CFC with even a subtle smile) along with sincere sounding words - then such a body language-facial expression is a highly reliable signal of insincerity. We all make this expression occasionally - for we are all human. But be extremely wary of those who use this facial expression often. Chronic insincerity is a profound warning sign. A relatively small percentage of people (<5%) exhibit the CFC too often (there are of course many other signals of insincerity). Avoid it in business, don't vote for it in politics and run, run fast from this expression in your personal life. 

Below are some nonpartisan nonverbal highlights of Mr. Weiner's video:

This image is from 0:19 in the video and shows a CFC with more than a hint of a smile. The Mayoral candidate is reminiscing warm and fuzzy memories about the neighborhood wherein he grew up. However neither emotional or physical pain are being verbally conveyed here.

Sincerity Quotient: F, Insincere

This image (0:34 mark) again shows a central forehead contraction (Do you believe there is a subtle mile?). Here the former congressman is speaking in glowing terms about memories of his mother teaching school. Again, his words are not congruent with his body language.

Sincerity Quotient: F, Insincere

This image with another central forehead contraction occurs at the 1:40 mark in the video - where Mr. Weiner admits to his past mistakes. Is he feeling emotional pain? Yes. Are the remainders of his nonverbals as well as his words and tone of voice congruent with the CFC? Yes.

Sincerity Quotient: A, Anthony Weiner is sincerely sorry.

There are truckloads of other nonverbals in the video. What others jump out at you?

See also:

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2777:  Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, John McCain and John Boehner

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2192:  Senator Elect Ted Cruz - "So by the third debate, I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama" - A Body Language Red Flag

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2040:  Never Trust a One-Sided Smile -  Ex-Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2238:  Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Lauren Rousseau's  Boyfriend's Body Language - Grief & Suppression of Negative Emotions & Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2124:  This Body Language-Facial Display - Should always make you think "Insincere"