Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2620: President Obama Tells a Couple Fibs - "Norming" Barack's Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Tuesday 26 November, President Obama visited Dreamworks Entertainment in Glendale, California - and he did not want to be there. His body language betrayed him. At the 0:03 mark in the above video, just as he says, "... Animation ...", within the sentence, " ... It is great to be at Dreamworks Animation ...", Barack Obama rubs the bottom of his nose with a simultaneous mouth covering. In the context of a declarative statement this nonverbal signal is highly indicative of a lie.

In this second image below, captured at 0:28 just as POTUS says "... between ..." within the sentence, "... ah, but, but, there's a natural connection, between me and Dreamworks Animation. I don't know if you know this but ah, my ears were one of the inspirations for 'Shrek' ...", he commits a virtually identical MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier). 

These seemingly trivial two lies provide a great lesson in "norming" body language behavior.

No one doubts the second lie in particular is an attempt at self-deprecating humor and of course everyone knows he is lying. The audience is "in on it". There is no consequence in "getting caught" - and yet there is still this classic nose rub/mouth cover display.

Barack Obama is not very good at pulling off deception without also giving nonverbal cues - indeed very few people can avoid "leaking" such signals.

The chances of pulling off a lie are highly proportional to the ramifications of getting caught. Thus if committing even small deceptions causes such displays - bigger lies will lead to more overt body language tells. This is valuable information to build upon when "norming" behavior during typical times so that one can better detect deceit during other times.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2605: President Obama and Health Insurance Cancellation Fix - and an Alpha-Beta Hybrid Body Language Illustrator

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2595: Barack Obama's Emotional Dissonance, Low Confidence and the "Turtle Retreat" - He Does Not Want To Be There

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2602: Barack Obama at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2593: Barack Obama, Insurance Cancellations and Signals of Low Confidence

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2561: President Obama's Self-Righteous Jaw Wiggle 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2511:  Barack Obama & Vladimir Putin  Handshake at 2013 G20 Meeting 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2560: A Debt Default is (for now) Averted - President Obama's Microexpression of ...