Thursday, August 17, 2017

Body Language Analysis No. 4033: Prime Minister Theresa May Regarding Charlottesville Violence, "I see no equivalence" - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

While visiting the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier, H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said, "As I made clear at the weekend, follow the horrendous scenes that we saw in Charlottesville *, I absolutely abhor the racism, the hatred, and the violence that we've seen portrayed by these groups. The United Kingdom has taken action to ban the far right groups here. We've proscribed certain far right groups here in the United Kingdom - and there's no equivalence, I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them. And I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them."

To put her statement in a greater context, for those who may be unaware - Prime Minister May is the leader of the U.K.'s Conservative Party.

From a nonverbal perspective, Theresa May projects multiple signals in this short video segment. One crucial split-second, in particular, occurs in her first sentence.

During 0:06, just after Prime Minister May says, "...horrendous scenes that we saw in Charlottesville" - but just before she said, "I absolutely abhor the racism, the hatred, and the violence...", PM May displays an excellent example of a microexpression.

This particular microexpression is that of contempt. Note how, very evanescently, the left corner of her mouth vectors out and up (displaying more teeth on her left). Simultaneously, her left nasolabial fold deepens as her left cheek muscle is contracted upward. You may miss this dynamic and short-lived signal if you're not fairly adept at spotting microexpressions. Please view it several times, at normal and slower speeds.

While not required as part of contempt, we see that at the moment of maximum contempt, the Prime Minister's eyelids are also closed. This is an example of a "blocking phenomenon" - which serves to amplify her contempt and, for an instant, tries to "un-see" or "wipe clean from her mind's eye" - the unwanted behavior.

You may also notice that throughout this entire video, the Prime Minister's eyebrows are pulled together (medially) by the contraction of what is known as the "Corrugator supercilii muscle" (resulting in the vertical furrows between the eyebrows). Throughout most (but not all) of this segment, PM May's eyebrows are also frequently lowered (beautifully exemplified during the last syllable of her word, "horrendous"). Her lower eyelids are also tense - as is the region above her upper lip and below her nose. Included in this nonverbal cluster, we can see her nostrils are also flaring. This "nonverbal sentence" (aka "cluster") is highly indicative of anger.

Nuancing her facial expressions a bit further, we can see that during this same 0:06 microexpression of contempt, Theresa May's central forehead is also contracted and vectored upward (aka an elevated "Central Forehead Contraction" or "CFC") - as it was at multiple times during her statement. This elevated CFC is indicative of Empathy.

Summary: When assessing nonverbal communication in real-time, always be aware that more than one emotion may be simultaneously occurring. We see an excellent example of this fundamental body language principle here as Theresa May feels contempt, anger, and empathy regarding the recent violence in Charlottesville - and what she believes to be Donald Trump's mishandling of the aftermath. It's important to point out, that during this segment, the Prime Minister's sincerity quotient is high.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4032: John Kelly's Reaction to Donald Trump's Press Conference Regarding the Events in Charlottesville

Body Language Analysis No. 4030: Charlottesville, Empathy, and One Expression Donald Trump Should Have Displayed

Body Language Analysis No. 4028: Donald Trump's Response to Charlottesville Violence, "On Many Sides"

Body Language Analysis No. 4021: Stephen Miller's and Jim Acosta's Confrontation

Body Language Analysis No. 4005: O.J. Simpson's Parole Board Hearing

Body Language Analysis No. 3986: Anthony Kennedy, The Supreme Court, and Predicting Empathy

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3927: Jimmy Kimmel's Emotional Monologue regarding His Son’s Birth & Heart Disease

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3912: Keri Russell's Schadenfreude, Matthew Rhys' Fear, and a Hesitancy to Disclose

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3871: Emma Watson's Old Habit, Harry Potter Outtake and Anxiety