Friday, April 11, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2782: Hillary Clinton dodges a shoe - Body Language ... and Not (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Yesterday in Las Vegas, Nevada - presumed 2016 U.S. Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton had a shoe thrown at here while on stage giving a speech. Much (but not all) of what is seen in the immediacy of this rapid event is NOT body language - it is however a good example of a "Startle Reflex". 

Just after 250 milliseconds after the shoe passes to her right and then in back of her, Ms. Clinton's eyelids close tightly and she begins to flex her neck forward in a posture of protection.

The former Secretary of State's upper arms retract closer to her torso, her elbows pull inwards as her lower arms and hands pull in close to the front of her upper abdomen and chest. 

Note how Ms. Clinton's neck is foreshortened (think of a turtle retracting its head and neck in its shell). Her shoulders elevate and her neck flexes further protect the vital tissue of the neck.

In this view we cannot see her ankles, knees, hips and back - they all flex towards a truncated and very evanescent fetal position.

 Despite the fact that she recovers from the incident nicely and pushes out a social smile shortly after this frame - in this view we can see Hillary display a very brief "Mouth of Fear". This is a true nonverbal expression (microexpression).

In this low resolution image captured from the video, we can see Hillary's eyelids opened wider than baseline and her mouth persisting in a fear expression.

If we could see her neck we would see a characteristic neck of fear with the tightening of the platysma and sternocleidomastoid muscles.

Very intriguingly - immediately after a loud startling noise, human beings almost always looks TOWARDS the noise in a reflexive effort to rapidly assess the situation (here where the shoe landed). This is part of the startle reflex.

Those who don't immediately look towards the sound have a very significant likelihood of having foreknowledge - and this phenomenon should be taken into account when evaluating for suspects after a bombing or similar event.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2304:  It Came from Outer Space -  Russian Meteor Event over Chelyabinsk  Don't Confuse this Reflex with Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2418:  Startle vs. Surprise  Body Language in the Yankees & Red Sox Dugouts

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2163:  Beirut, Lebanon Car Bomb Video -  What is often Confused for Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2523:  Hillary Clinton, Body Language and the 2016 Presidency -  Rapport Builder vs. Rapport Destroyer

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2569: Hillary Clinton, Visibility, Trust and a Harbinger of 2016 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2564: Hillary Clinton Stumping for Terry McAuliffe ... but Did She Hint at Running in 2016? 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2781: Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Rolling Stone and Flirting - Body Language of Attraction

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2778: April Fools Prank, Embarrassment and Body Language