Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2765: Obama, Romney, Russia and Facial Asymmetry - Contempt at The Hague (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Like most people, President Barack Obama has some degree of facial asymmetry. In this momentary and relatively neutral emotional moment, we can see that the nasal-labial furrow (which runs from the side of the nose down to the corners of the mouth) is more shallow on Barack's right side - however it runs down past his mouth corner. On his left - it is more deeply defined but stops at the corner of the mouth. This asymmetry (among other things) makes some nonverbal signals more difficult to interpret. One example of this phenomenon is that - to many Mr. Obama will seem as if he is feeling contempt when he is not. Below however are examples of two very subtle and very real microexpressions of contempt. 

During the 0:14 second mark in his speech yesterday at The Hague just prior to and just after "... Russia's ..." (during 0:19 shown in image below) when President Obama says, "..... With respect to Mr. Romney's ah, assertion that, ah ... Russia's, ah, number, our number one, geo-political foe ... " (highlighted with red).

Note that at both of these moments, the presidents eyelids are closed in a slightly extended blink.

This extended blink in this context serves as a "Contempt-Amplifier" - which is extremely valuable yet very  under-appreciated body language signal.

There are multitudes of additional nonverbal examples seen in this short video. How many did you miss?

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2646: Does Barack Obama Want to Go to the Sochi (Russia) Winter Olympics? What His Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2752: Barack Obama, Zach Galifianakis, Funny or Die - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2758: Barack Obama Regarding Further Sanctions to Russia for Annexation of Crimea - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2764: Embarrassment, Affection & Flirtation - Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher - Kiss Cam Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2727: "I am a Ukrainian" Video - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2745: Vladimir Putin Deception regarding Crimea - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2647: Vladimir Putin regarding Edward Snowden, What Does the Russian Leader Think?