Saturday, July 26, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2897: Fifty Shades of Grey - Part II - Warning Signs & Threat Assessment (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

This is the second post regarding the recent movie trailer release of "Fifty Shades of Grey". Dakota Johnson is casted as Anastasia "Ana" Steele - and she does a very good job in this trailer portraying a naive college woman. In stark contrast, Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey, as pointed out in Analysis No. 2894 - has the body language of a sociopath in this trailer.

To reiterate somewhat, the central forehead contraction (aka "CFC" - even when seen in trace amounts) when seen simultaneously with any degree of "mouth smile" is consistent with contempt, incredulity or arrogance. This is not the only nonverbal consistent with these three emotional states. Moreover every human being feels these from time to time. However when the CFC is together with any degree of a "mouth smile" is seen chronically - this is consistent with sociopathic behavior. It also signals very low (or nonexistent) empathy and insincerity. Be warned.

Another nonverbal signal that is present in this very brief segment of this film - are eyelids that are opened wider than normal on a chronic basis. Like everything in the world of body language, specific body language signals must never be interpreted in isolation. Eyes that are opened wider than what for that person is considered baseline (and of course the heights of the upper eyelids varies from person to person and with age) may be seen with higher levels of anger (rage), surprise, shock, and fear. They also can be seen during moment of emphasis during conversation and in such context are a type of nonverbal "illustrator".

Some eyelids are opened wider than normal on a chronic basis however, either very frequently throughout the day or even nearly constantly. This is even indoctrinated in Hollywood from the mad genius (think "Doc Brown" on the "Back to the Future" movies) as well as in almost innumerable animations. Curiously though, this sign is largely ignored in the medical community - even though most would call the appearance "creepy", "weird", or "scary". There are of course some medical conditions which cause the eyelids to be retracted and have this "white and wide" appearance (such as hyperthyroid conditions). These are relatively easy for a physician to exclude however. When a physiologic or other traditional medical condition cannot be found - physiological diagnoses should be diligently sought.

Christian Grey - the character portrayed by Jamie Dornan - is of course a young, wealthy entrepreneur. He is not entitled to be crazy or chronically angry however - nor is anyone of course regardless of their financial status. Note Grey's/Dornan's upper eyelids are opened wider than what is normal. Of course this is only an actor playing a fictional character - but if you see this nonverbal signal displayed chronically or outside the setting of anger (rage), surprise, shock, fear or illustration of emphasis - consider it a red flag. You've been warned. Stay away.

Ted Bundy

James Holmes

Marshall Applewhite

Adam Lanza

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2747: Adam Lanza's Warning Sign - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2503:  Fort Hood Shooter and his Tell-Tale Body Language  Common to many Mass-Killers -  Nidal Malik Hasan gets the Death Penalty

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2828: Elliot Roger, Isla Vista/U.C. Santa Barbara Mass Shooting & Threat Assessment - Body Language and Threat Assessment