Friday, May 17, 2013

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

In his prime, O.J. Simpson was 6'2" (188 cm), and although he's probably a bit shorter now at 65 years old, he is still considerably taller than average yet the witness stand in covers most of his body (in front and left side up to his mid-chest level and on his right side, facing the Judge, up to the level of his shoulder). The structure and exact dimensions of witness stands varies somewhat throughout the U.S. and of course in other countries. It would behoove the legal system to construct witness stands such that they afford a 360 degree unobstructed view of anyone who testifies.

There is a substantial increase in the ability of a witness (or anyone) to tell a convincing lie the more he/she is covered - as is O.J.. However if those bearing witness were even considering telling a lie, they would be much less likely to attempt to do so if the witness stand offered an unencumbered view of them. Moreover the juries (whom almost never have had any nonverbal communication training) are much more likely to detect perjury if they had such a clear view of the witness.

What if O.J. were a 5'1" (155 cm) woman? Even accounting for height adjustment on a chair, we would see even less of such a witness.

In this brief video segment, O.J. Simpson's hands are visible only once. If most of his statements were true we should see his hands making such "illustrators" more often. Moreover we miss valuable information (again, even from the untrained observer's point of view) when we cannot see what the witnesses hands are doing at other times. A complete view of the entire individual would best engender honesty in court room. This is a scientific certainty - so why then is it not standard practice?

What other signals of deception and/or anxiety do you see in this video?

See also:

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

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2307:  Oscar Pistorius in Court, Body Language and the Bilateral Eye Cover 

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret # 1522:  False Mastication in Court - Alicia DeBolt and  Adam Longoria

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

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