Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3076: 2015 State of the Union Address, Barack Obama, John Boehner and a Microexpression of .... (VIDEO, PHOTO)

Perhaps the most memorable (verbal) line in the 2015 State of the Union address was improvisational - as Barack Obama met with some possibly unanticipated republican applause:

"I have no more campaigns to run. My only agenda [republicans clapping] - I know because I won both of 'em ..."

This first sentence drew a very specific nonverbal tell from Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH). As the President began to say the word "only" and an instant later as it became more fully manifested during the word "agenda" (during 1:06:47) - the right side of Speaker Boehner's face (on our left) displayed a very brief nonverbal signal indicative of contempt (a near-microexpression). While this particular expression is not the only manner in which the body language of contempt is projected on the face, it is the most commonly sighted one. Characterized by what in a nutshell is often called a unilateral "snarl" - this classic contempt sign has a tightening of the mid-face, a unilaterally upward-vectoring of one side of the mouth, a evanescent deepening and definition of the same side nasal-labial fold (running from each side of the mid-nose down to below and laterally to each mouth corner), a nostril flaring on the same side, and often a unilateral partial closing of the eyelids (Which acts as a contempt amplifier in this setting).

There can be no doubt that in this moment Speaker Boehner was feeling contempt for President Obama.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3075: Franklin Graham (Billy Graham's son) Blasts Duke University for Muslim "Call to Prayer"

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2865: John Boehner is Suing Barack Obama - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3068: John Boehner Kissing Nancy Pelosi

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2424:  Giada De Laurentiis on Conan O'Brien  Beautiful Teeth but Insincere Smiles and  Some Body Language Signals of Waning Love

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3061: Jimmy Fallon Blew a Chance to Date Nicole Kidman  

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2595: Barack Obama's Emotional Dissonance, Low Confidence and the "Turtle Retreat" - He Does Not Want To Be There

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2511:  Barack Obama & Vladimir Putin  Handshake at 2013 G20 Meeting

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2150:  Body Language Advice for  President Obama and Governor Romney in Tonight's Debate