Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2880: Bowe Bergdahl & Badruddin Haqqani Photo - What Does Body Language Tell Us?

Badruddin Haqqani, a known leader of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network (who later was killed in August 2012), was revealed today in this twitter published image with his arm around a man who many believe is recently released American P.O.W., U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Below is a nonverbal analysis of Bergdahl's facial expression.

If this is Bowe Bergdahl, he made this false smile under duress. It is in no way sincere.

Note Bergdahl's (or other's) central forehead. Although this image is of low resolution, we can see it is contracted (CFC). A sincere smile NEVER has any component of forehead contraction.

Notice also this man's mild elevation of his right, inner eyebrow - this is consistent with the CFC.

The asymmetry of his mouth as well as the primarily lateral vectoring of his mouth corners is also not consistent with a smile of sincerity.

If you look closely at his eyes, they are partially closed - and some of this closure is secondary to edema (swelling) and ecchymosis (bruising) associated with injury. This is particularly prominent on his left lower eyelid. His right upper lid also appears swollen and the white part of his left eye (sclera) also appears reddened (subconjuctival hemorrhage).

In summary, whether this is Bowe Bergdahl (or another man), his emotion in the moment of this photograph was one of emotional pain and a forced, insincere smile made under duress. He is very probably experiencing physical pain as well.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2275:  Lance Armstrong's Insincerity -  Body Language revealed in Oprah Winfrey Interview  Part III

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2227:  Sincerity and Insincerity regarding  Suicide Death of Jacintha Saldanha

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2870: Cate Blanchett and a Subtle Body Language Signal of Insincere Laughter

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2879: Barack Obama, Governor Rick Perry and the Crisis at the Southern Boarder