Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2439:
Michael Jackson's Wrongful Death Suit
AEG Live CEO's Body Language During Deposition

The following is a partial nonverbal analysis of a brief segment (2:30 length) of a deposition from Michael Jackson's wrongful death suit. Mr. Dan Beckerman, CEO of AEG Live is being deposed.

"Forward Lip Pursing" is displayed several times during this segment. Here it occurs at 0:06 - 0:08. Forward lip pursing is a signal of clandestine partial or full disagreement. It is displayed by those who, at least in part, are relative alpha personalities and believe their idea/plan is superior.

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During 0:10 - 0:13 the "Inward Lip Roll" is seen. The inward lip roll (ILR) is a sign that the psyche is trying to suppress significant emotion.

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The "Asymmetrical Lip Purse" is indicative of openly (non-secretively) deciding on a course of action. It's as if to say, "I am deciding". One will can see this many times through a brief trip of a grocery store or when people are looking at a menu.

This expression was made famous last summer by McKayla Maroney, the American Gymnast at the London Olympics. Virtually everyone misinterpreted it though - her expression was falsely labeled as:
"Not Impressed" (most commonly) and also "Scowl", "Pouty", "Disgust" or "Contempt". This large, society wide scale and repeated misinterpretation exemplifies the preponderance of ignorance regarding many common (let alone the much needed nuance) of nonverbal communication signals.

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At 0:42 Mr. Beckerman's ears elevate upwards (Don't confuse this with a jump in the video due to editing which occurs at 0:44). This is a rarely captured example of a manifestation of a very common emotion.

What does this brief "Ear Elevation" indicate?

What does his extended blink afterwards mean in this context?

Beginning at 0:52 several seconds of a suppressed smile can easily be seen.

Is this a display an example of "Duping Delight" or something else?

At 1:13 to 1:16 Mr. Beckerman displays an example of a "Bitter Smile". This signals regret and when people make this expression they believe, that in real-time they are pushing out a slight smile. Notable is the concave up appearance to the lips/mouth - when during even a modest social smile the lips/mouth should be concave down.

This is one of the best examples of how we as human beings have a profoundly inaccurate ability to assess our own body language-facial expressions when we are in a significant emotional state.

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Another forward lip purse at 1:29

Sideways (asymmetrical) lip purse is seen again at 1:31

At 1:56 - 1:57 Mr. Beckerman rubs his nose for a full two seconds after answering a question.

What does this body language mean?

This gesture is an example of what general class of nonverbals?

Mr. Beckerman closes both eyelids for what is known as an extended blink just after the above noted nose rub.

In this cluster-context what does such an extended blink indicate?