Saturday, April 7, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4253: Tiger Woods at The 2018 Masters - Nonverbal Biofeedback, Sport psychology, and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)

As with all sports, the psychological approach to the golf is, by most accounts, the primary predictor of success - or failure. And once it's lost, this 'head-game' often proves extremely difficult to reestablish.

Perhaps there is no greater example of this phenomenon, that Tiger Woods. Ever since his highly publicized marital problems in 2009, he's rarely approached even a shadow of his former dominance. And his anticipated return to The Masters this year has, thus far, has disappointed his fans. As of this writing (after two of four rounds), he stands at +7, 13 strokes off the current leader, Patrick Reed.

In the image above we see Woods rubbing/scratching his forehead. There's no doubt he was probably sweating - and there's also no doubt he was probably experiencing an itch. And yet, by far, the number one reason we touch our faces (or anywhere on the head and neck) is due to real (not imagined) facial itching - caused by Anxiety. Anxiety, of course, has many etiologies - and depending on the other nonverbal signals with which it is clustered, these root-causes can sometimes be determined.

We also close our eyes and/or cover our eyes during moments of emotional processing - that is, when the 'emotional brain' is trying to come to terms with what the 'logical brain' already knows has happened.

In this second image of Tiger Woods, we see him passing self-judgment on his own shot - displaying the emotion of Disgust. Moderate in its magnitude, Woods' disgust is primarily manifested by his mid-facial tension (in the region just above his upper lip and below his nose). In addition, we see his nostril flaring, lowering of the corners of his mouth, and his lower lip depression - in this cluster, all of these indicate disgust.

While not a required component of disgust, Woods' partial eyelid closure act as a disgust-amplifier. 

During the moment when this third image of Woods' was taken, the golfer was experiencing Fear. His fear is subtly-to-mildly manifested with the configuration of Tiger's mouth - with its corners pulled mildly backward (posteriorly).

But more noticeably, we see fear displayed in Woods' eyes. Tiger Woods's eyelids are opened slightly wider than baseline - but crucially, there's also lower eyelid tension (tightening) - while his eyebrows are also slightly lowered (more so on his left).

Summary: When we feel negative emotions - and subsequently display them on our faces and bodies - our own actions will reinforce these unwanted feelings - acting as a biofeedback loop reinforcement mechanism for these behaviors (e.g., the angry get angrier, the disgusted grow even more disgusted, etc.). In the process of training for - or competing in any sport (or life), this phenomenon is profound. Negative displays should be minimized and hopefully nearly eliminated - but never ignored.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4252: Donald Trump says he didn't know about Stormy Daniels payment

Body Language Analysis No. 4250: Donald Trump, "We've been very tough on Russia"

Body Language Analysis No. 4248: My Extended interview re: Security Video of Stephen Paddock (1 October Las Vegas Shooter) - KTNV • Channel 13 Las Vegas

Body Language Analysis No. 4238: OJ Simpson - The Lost Confession (Continued, Part II)

Body Language Analysis No. 4218: Dana Loesch, Threat Assessment, and Red Flags

Body Language Analysis No. 4167: Gary Oldman, Hugh Jackman, and Compliments

Body Language Analysis No. 4138: Matt Lauer, Intimidation, and Aggression

Body Language Analysis No. 4099: Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and Jim Leavelle

Body Language Analysis No. 4039: Blue Angels, Surprise, Emotional Processing, and Empathy