Friday, October 31, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2997: Halloween Haunted Houses - Transitioning from Expressions of Surprise to Fear (PHOTOS)

In the spirit of Halloween, today's post includes photos from "Nightmares Fear Factory" in Niagara Falls, Canada.

The two primary emotions seen in these images are surprise and fear. The following is a partial body language analysis of these moments.

Surprise is the shortest-lived emotion - if it is sincere. Surprise that lasts for more than two to three seconds has a high probability to be either psychological shock (e.g. Watching the World Trade Center Collapse, hearing about or watching a car-accident, etc.) or, much more commonly - it has an large component (perhaps completely) of insincerity. Sincere surprise is almost always followed very rapidly by a second emotion - such as anger, sadness, joy, embarrassment, etc. ... or as in these examples - fear.

In the image above, the man's expression is past that of surprise and has transitioned to fear. Baring of his teeth as well as the corners of his mouth being pulled downward and backward is highly characteristic of fear.

Note the mouth of the girl on the far left in the stripe pants. The corners of her mouth are pulled down and back - yet her teeth are not showing. The lack of teeth exposure in this acute phase is consistent with a lower level of fear.

The girl on the right side of this photo in the pink colored top has a mouth configuration highly indicative of surprise - note its vertical elongation and lack of visible teeth. Contrast this to her friend with the white jacket - her mouth has widened horizontally. She has already transitioning to an emotion of fear.

This is a great photo similar to the one immediately above, both men are in an emotional state of surprise (again, their mouths are more vertically elongated - with no teeth showing [reflections of tongues can sometime appear similar to teeth, yet no teeth are visible here]) - yet the man in the blue shirt has a mouth a few tens of milliseconds ahead of his friend - in the very early stages of a "mouth of fear".

A fraction of a second later we see the man on the left expression has transitioned more fully to a "mouth of fear" - while his friend is responding more slowly and lags behind somewhat still in a state of surprise.

It is interesting and typical that a person in a fear state will hide behind something - inanimate or even another person - as is seen here.

There is also a pulling inwards of both the arms and legs closer to the center of the body in a protective mode.

It is also thought provoking that so many men hid behind women.

Happy Halloween!

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2996: Daniel Radcliffe Raps Blackalicious' "Alphabet Aerobics" on Tonight Show/Jimmy Fallon

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2957: Derek Jeter Gatorade - Made in New York Commercial - A Little Boy's Classic Surprise

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2951: Miss America 2015 - Sincerity, Surprise and Botox

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 1171:  Not So Fast Swift ....  Taylor's False Surprise

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2274:  The Eyes & Mouth of Fear -  Body Language of Ahmed Dogan during  Attempted Assassination

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2833: Edward Snowden & Neck of Fear - Body Language Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2313: Elisa Lam Video in Elevator at Cecil Hotel - What Her Body Language Tells Us ....