Friday, March 31, 2017

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3894: Michael Flynn and Russia - "When are given immunity, it means you probably committed a crime" - Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Yesterday, Michael Flynn's attorney made it clear that the former National Security Advisor (from January 20, 2017, to February 13, 2017) is willing to be interviewed by US Senate and House of Representatives investigators - but only in exchange for the condition of immunity from prosecution.
Earlier today the Senate Intelligence Committee turned him down.

On 25 September 2016, Michael Flynn was a guest on NBC's Meet The Press. And although at the time of this article, NBC had removed the original video from that specific episode, the clip included above is a CNN segment which contains a portion of that original interview. Many people are finding Flynn's statement here (in addition to Donald Trump's which immediately follows it and is also included) as particularly ironic - while others view it as more of a foreshadowing - or a form of a Freudian slip.

Beginning at 0:57 and on through to 1:13, Michael Flynn says, "The l- [stutter] very last thing that John Podesta just said is, 'No individual too big to jail'. That should include people like Hillary Clinton. I mean five people around her have had, have been given immunity to include her former Chief of Staff. When you g- [stutter] are given immunity, it means you probably committed a crime."

Followed by Donald Trump (1:16 - 1:21) during his candidacy, "... And if you're not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for? Right?"

What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of Michael Flynn.

At many times during this short segment, Michael Flynn's forehead and eyebrows elevate in very quickly but for short duration. In addition, and more importantly, Flynn's left eyebrow also elevates unilaterally - multiple times and rather dramatically.

A nonverbal novice or even a person with a relatively moderate level of body language experience may identify these multiple, short-lived, rapid reactions as examples of "Microexpressions" - more specifically, microexpressions displaying doubt/disbelief/incredulity. Yet these facial movements are NOT Microexpressions. They are, rather, examples of tics - and more specifically, "Simple Motor Tics".

If one views previous videos of Michael Flynn - it's clear this behavior is longstanding. Additionally, these movements are a bit too frequent and strong - to be characteristic of microexpressions (somewhat of a nonverbal analog of a staccato).

Tics are described as "unvoluntary" or semi-voluntary - for they're not by definition involuntary. They are often characterized as a voluntary response to an unwanted and premonitory urge - that is, as an "irresistible urge, which must eventually be expressed". Tics may increase as a result of emotional states which are negative, such as anxiety, frustration -  as well as positive emotions, like anticipation or excitement. They can even arise out of boredom.

Conclusion: This nonverbal behavior of Michael Flynn is NOT a microexpression, as it may appear to some. Rather this is a facial tic - more specifically a longstanding simple motor tic. Although tics can increase in frequency with anxiety, this does not suggest necessarily that Flynn was nervous (or lying) in this scenario - since even boredom or excitement may also increase tic behavior.

Tune in next week (or sometime soon) for his testimony. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3893: Devin Nunes' Statement to Press Outside White House after His Controversial Meeting with Donald Trump

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3891: Donald Trump and Jared Kushner - Alpha and Beta Tells

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3889: Donald Trump's Speech from Oval Office After House AHCA Bill Being Pulled

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3884: One Important Expression James Comey Displayed Often During His Testimony Before the House Intelligence Committee

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3853: Tom Hiddleston, a School Play and Eddie Redmayne

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3638: Hillary Clinton's DNC Speech - and One Expression Which Profoundly Lowers Her Likability

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3885: Vogue's 73 Questions with Selena Gomez

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3707: The Presidential Debates Part III - Donald Trump v. Hillary Clinton and Sniffing