Sunday, October 4, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3329: Robert De Niro Hears Tom Hiddleston's Robert De Niro Impression - The Graham Norton Show - Body Language Tells (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

If you've never watched Graham Norton, you're missing something. His is routinely one of the most hilarious shows you'll ever watch - and this clip is no exception. Tom Hiddleston does some great impressions - of Owen Wilson, Christopher Walken - and then he proceeds to Robert De Niro - who's sitting on the same couch. And although he's an excellent actor himself, Hiddleston - enamored with De Niro slips back and forth between being "in character" (e.g. Stanislavsky) and his nervous, "I-can't-believe-I'm-impersonating-Robert De Niro-while-he's-sitting-right-here" self.

This video provides dozens and dozens of nonverbal examples. One could spend a couple hours using this six minute video alone as a teaching example. Yet there is one nonverbal here which needs thin-slicing - for it's very often mischaracterized - and rarely nuanced.

Facial touching is of course an extremely common manifestation of anxiety (as indeed it is here). And it is often taught that nose touching - while not absolute - is one of the MAPs [Manipulators, Adaptors, Pacifiers]) which is seen with significantly greater frequency in the context of deception. While this is also true - the nose touching associated with deception is almost always a scratch, touch, rub or flick. Yet here we see another variation - that, while is correlated with anxiety - is much less common with lying. What Mr. Hiddleston examples for us six times here is a "Nose Pull" or "Nose Pinch".

The more robust varieties of the nose pull/pinch are examples of alpha up-regulators, where assertiveness is being called upon. It's a signal that the person feels some level of embarrassment (and is trying to suppress it) - as they realize they're over-stepping social boundaries - yet they dial-up their alpha and push on

It's crucial to never interpret a nonverbal signal in isolation - rather to note other body language signs with which it is clustered. As mentioned above, there are a multitude of other nonverbals in this video - on all five of those pictured. How many others did you see? What verifies that Hiddleston is feeling anxiety and is not attempting any sort of lie?




(camera cuts away a split second before nose pull/pinch)



See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3328: PewDiePie on Stephen Colbert's Late Show - a Common Body Language Alpha Up-Regulator

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 1901:  Maria Sharapova's Anxiety

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3210: Matteo Renzi, Christine Lagarde, Barack Obama and Up-Regulating Alpha Emotions

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3282: Zac Efron Swam with a Wild Tiger Shark and Avoided an Attack by using Body Language