Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3878: Sean Spicer, White House Briefing, Donald Trump's Wiretapping Allegations - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The video above is a segment of today's White House Briefing (The images below were captured from another camera, and thus are from a slightly different angle). The questions posed by the journalist (Trey Yingst) addressed the investigation of Donald Trump's allegations that Barack Obama had Mr. Trump/Trump Tower wiretapped during Trump's campaign. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis.

TREY YINGST (beginning at 0:37): And a quick follow-up ah -

SEAN SPICER: Sure [disgust-contempt]

TREY YINGST: When a decision is announced - whatever evidence or - potentially no evidence is, ah, released, will he make a statement, about the evidence, or lack of evidence?

Just after Mr. Spicer says, "Sure", he displays an expression which is an amalgam of both disgust (primarily) as well as contempt (secondarily). The contempt is not captured as well with the still photo - please view the video at regular and one-half speed to appreciate the dynamics of this nonverbal subtlety.

Immediately after Mr. Yingst says, "... potentially no evidence is, ..." (when Yingst is saying, "... ah, released ..." during 0:44), Sean Spicer displays a classic "Loose Tongue Jut" (aka "Lizard Tongue"). A loose tongue jut indicates the thought-emotions of "I've just been bad", "I'm about to be bad", or "I just got/about to be caught" (Navarro). It's crucial not to confuse this with a "Tight Tongue Jut" (which indicates a completely different emotion).

This Loose Tongue Jut signal is very brief and is thus classified as one form of a Microexpression.

Moreover, although it's not a requirement of this facial expression, in this context the simultaneous and prolonged bilateral blinking acts a nonverbal amplifier for Spicer's baseline emotion (e.g., I REALLY got caught!).

Summary: Sean Spicer's nonverbal behavior indicates he believes there is no evidence of Donald Trump's allegations of wiretapping by Barack Obama.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3877: Kellyanne Conway re: "Wiretapping" Investigation - Alpha Displays

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3875: Children Interrupt Dad During BBC News interview

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3873: Brie Larson's Eyes, The Bachelor, and the Edge of Consciousness

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3857: Taunting a Snowplow Driver - Belleville, Ontario

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3829: Mary Tyler Moore - Flirtatious, Sexy, Alpha Female Smile

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3789: Felicity Jones, Jyn Erso and Tattoos

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3763: Matt Smith, Claire Foy and Where NOT to be stung by a Wasp - Body Language, Emotional Intelligence and Predicting Empathy 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3733: The 3rd Presidential Debate - Donald Trump v. Hillary Clinton - Part IV - The Turning Point of the Debate