Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3419: George Pataki, Asymmetry, Trust and Body Language (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

And then there were twelve.

George Pataki ended his campaign for president of the United States today. From a body language perspective, the former Governor of New York has an idiosyncrasy which works against him. He speaks chronically out of the side of his mouth.

Normally when a person speaks with such mouth asymmetry, it is temporary. Depending on the other nonverbals and paralanguage with which it is clustered, such speaking out of the side of one's mouth can be a signal of bravado or acquiescence/resignation (and medical causes such as stroke and Facial Nerve Palsy must be excluded). Yet this is not the what accounts for the majority of this nonverbal mouth pattern.

The human psyche is hard-wired to interpret this asymmetrical mouth configuration as dishonest. And while this facial appearance is by no means 100% indicative of deception (e.g., the above causes must be ruled-out) - there is a relatively high correlation with lying and insincerity while speaking out of the "corner of the mouth".

Yet for Governor Pataki, this is simply an idiosyncrasy. Of course, every politician lies - it's just that with Pataki, we cannot and should not use this particular signal when it comes to nonverbal deception detection. Nor should we use it to discern any bravado or acquiescent behavior (even though of course, he is withdrawing from the race today). He certainly experiences all of these thought-emotions, but we just can't use this sign to suss him out. Fortunately there area many other nonverbal tools we may use.

If George were to hop in his DeLorean and go back to 1985 however, he'd be well-advised to "unlearn" this facial habit - for it's profoundly important to emphasize that this certainly does NOT engender trust or sincerity.


See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3418: Mayor Eric Garcetti, The Port of Los Angeles and a Body Language Mistake Leaders Commit Routinely

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3416: LeBron James Catches a Golden State Fan "calling" him a Cry Baby - Body Language

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3410: Bernie Sanders Apologizes to Hillary Clinton for Data Breach at Democratic Debate - Body Language Faux Pas 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3402: UFC 194: Conor McGregor and José Aldo - Octagon Post Fight Interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3393: Syed Rizwan Farook, Tashfeen Malik, San Bernardino Shooting and Predicting Violent Behavior

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3352: Donald Trump's Contradictory Body Language

Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Secret No. 1267: John McCain, Sarah Palin and Bell's Palsy 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3142: Mike Pence - Governor of Indiana interview with George Stephanopoulos & the Religious Freedom Restoration Act - What Makes Gov. Pence Look Worse?