Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2467:
Rob Gronkowski & Aaron Hernandez
Recognizing Multiple Body Language Signs of Anger
(Video, Photo)

Rob Gronkowski, a tight end for the New England Patriots, was recently interviewed Don Dahler.
When Dahler asked him about his (now former) teammate Aaron Hernandez, who was recently arrested for alleged murder - Gronkowski grew angry. When looking at this video there are several nonverbal signs of anger - how many can you spot?

In this image (captured at 0:07), Gronkowski's eyelids are opened slightly wider than his normal baseline. The lower eyelids are also tightened. In addition his "mustache area" (area between upper lip and nose) is tightened. This is seen with simultaneous thinning of his upper lip (although not dramatic). His nostrils are also slightly dilated.

When the head-neck unit is flexed backwards with the secondary chin and nose in the air configuration - this often indicates arrogance-contempt - but not always. Another less appreciated emotion it may signal (depending on the other nonverbal signals with which it is clustered) is determination (often seen in arrest mug shots). However it also can be a sign of anger - and that is emotion cluster-context is what is exampled here. What is a fourth emotion this head-neck tilt may be consistent with?

This photo taken only a second later in the video (0:08), shows reduced  mid-face tension, less upper lip thinning and diminished nasal flaring.
Gronkowski's head & neck remained tilted backwards however.

An additional signal of anger - the "Jaw Jut" - wherein the jaw is trusted forward from the lower skull with a resultant "under-bite" appearance - is manifested in this picture. This body language facial expression is best seen in the dynamic context of the video.

Anyone can spot extreme anger. However being able to identify moderate or subtle manifestations of anger gives you at a dramatic advantage .... and may even save your life.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2346: Texas Shootout & Colorado Killer Suspect Evan Ebel -  Body Language of a Determined Emotional Mindset

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2462:  Rachel Jeantel responds to Critique of Juror - George Zimmerman vs. State of Florida - Tongue in Cheek Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2374:  Tom Cruise on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Body Language of Emotional Dissonance

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2039:  Fight Outside Florida Courtroom -  Jaw Jut Prior to Violence

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