Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4396: Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation Hearing — Reading Between the Lines — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

New allegations have been made against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In addition, multiple witnesses have indicated that last year's investigations regarding Justice Kavanaugh's alleged behavior were grossly incomplete. What follows is a partial nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage analysis of a portion of Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing.

Many times during his testimony, Brett Kavanaugh dramatically sniffed. No doubt some of his sniffings were secondary to his tears. Possibly a portion of his sniffing was associated with allergies, perhaps a case of post-nasal drip, or maybe a side effect of medications. Yet, without a doubt, a large fraction of his sniffing was not associated with any of these aforementioned etiologies - but they were behavioral. They were body language tells.

One such occasion occurs at the beginning of this video (0:03), just after Senator Dianne Feinstein says, "Mr. Kavanaugh, it's my understanding that ...". This was indeed disgust camouflaged as a sniff.

Just after Senator Feinstein says, "All three of these women have asked the FBI to investigate their claims. Ahum, I listened carefully to what you said ...", Kavanaugh displays a Forward Lip Purse (Primary emotion) along with a component of Anger (secondary emotion), (0:21).

Forward Lip Pursing is a signal of a person withholding information (clandestine disagreement and/or undisclosed plans). Anyone making a forward lip purse believes themself to be an alpha relative to the others with whom he's communicating — he perceives his audience to be beta. A person displaying a forward lip purse also believes they have a good chance of implementing their plan.

If you see a forward lip purse directed toward you by anyone — protect your flanks!

He then busies his hands moving a binder. This is a Manipulator/Adaptor/Pacifier surrogate - in lieu of touching a body part and is significant for Anxiety. 

Kavanaugh immediately then repositions his hands beneath the table (0:22). Hiding one's hands often signals dishonesty and/or clandestine behavior and the withholding of information. At the very least, it demonstrates heightened anxiety.

Every observant judge and attorney should be aware of the profound nonverbal tell of suddenly hiding one's hands.

He also performs a false suit jacket adjustment - in an attempt to up-regulate his alpha emotional tone (please watch the video, as the dynamic nature of this maneuver is not captured with a single still image).

Kavanaugh's (near-constant) disgust continues.

Hard swallow after Senator Feinstein says, "If you're very confident of your position ..."
(0:31 — Please view the video and note the rise and fall of his 'Adam's Apple' [Laryngeal prominence]).

Another dramatic disgust display disguised as an extreme sniff is displayed just after Senator Feinstein continues, "... why aren't you also asking the FBI to investigate these claims?" (0:36).

As Senator Feinstein says, "And the terrible and hard part of this is ...", Mr. Kavanaugh displays another hard swallow (1:27).

Two rapid sniff-disgust displays (with a secondary component of anger) can be immediately be seen in response to Senator Feinstein saying, "We're not in a position to prove it or disprove it, therefore we have to depend ..." (1:33 and 1:34).

We see Kavanaugh display another example of Forward Lip Pursing (1:39) just after Feinstein continues — saying, "... on some outside authority for it. And it would just seem to me then ..."

(again, significant for clandestine planning and/or undisclosed significant disagreement)

Kavanaugh conveys particularly strong disgust after Feinstein continues, "... when these allegations came forward..." (1:41)

— Followed immediately by yet another Forward Lip Purse (1:42)

Notice the highly specific questions Mr. Kavanuagh asks: "This happen'd on a weekday? Well was it, whut, a, whut, whu, no, [sic], I'm not at a Blair — auh, High School for summer league game? I'm not at Tobin's house workin' out? I'm not at a movie with Suzanne?" (2:22 - 2:31).

This is an example of a manipulative technique whereby Kavanaugh is getting the audience to believe his premise — that those places he listed were (of course) where he always was during the time in question. He paints a highly specific picture — so, before we prove that he was with Ms. Ford at a party - we have to first prove he wasn't on a date with Suzanne, working out at Tobin's, or playing a summer league game at Blair High School. He's manipulating Senator Feinstein.

After Senator Feinstein says, "Well, the unfortunate thing is, these Hearings are set — set by the majority ...", Mr. Kavanaugh tightens his mustache area as his lips become thinned and taught. This dynamic indicates he's feeling significant anger (2:49).

His right eyebrow also elevates - showing that Mr. Kavanaugh does not believe Senator Feinstein.

He then immediately turns away from her, to his left — and displays another Forward Lip Purse (2:50).

He's also looking up to his left — the quadrant to which we primarily look when we're recalling a visual memory.

A series of highly profound microexpressions then occur in rapid succession during and immediately after Feinstein says, "Wel-, We hear from the witnesses ..." (3:03)

Simultaneously with Feinstein saying, "witnesses", Kavanaugh looks down to his right - the quadrant to which we look during moments of Sadness, Regret, and Guilt.

This is followed by another expression of extreme Disgust (3:04)

Followed rapidly by a highly significant Jaw Jut - signifying Anger (3:05). Please view the video as the dynamics are not well demonstrated with a still image.

Followed immediately (3:06) by a hard swallow (indicating high anxiety) coincident with eyelid closure (attempting to block the events from the psyche).

And then, quite profoundly, Kavanaugh's mouth displays a subtle Microexpression of Regret (3:06)

Note, this one moment, taken in isolation, does not differentiate between Culpability-Regret vs. Remorse-Regret (i.e., "I regret the fact that I was caught" vs. "I regret my actions because they are unethical").

Immediately after his regret display, Kavanaugh then looks up to his left - the quadrant we look to most often look when visually recalling a memory (3:07).

Kavanaugh's response of, "You're interviewing me! You're interviewing me!" to Feinstein's statement of, "But the FBI isn't interviewing them [the witnesses] and isn't giving them any facts ..." - demonstrates another manipulative technique. Kavanaugh implies that he is the only witness of the alleged crimes that the FBI would interview. He is trying to manipulate Senator Feinstein - and us. 

Kavanaugh continues, "... You're, you're doing it Senator. I'm sorry to interrupt, but you're doing it. That's, th, the, there's no conclusions reached."

Then Kavanaugh displays a Loose Tongue Jut. A loose tongue jut signifies the thought-emotions of:

• I've been caught
• I've been bad
• I've done a stupid thing

Kavanaugh then looks up to his left again (recalling an event visually), and displays an amalgam of a Forward Lip Purse (Clandestine disagreement and/or Failure to Fully Disclose) along with Disgust (3:25).

Beginning at 3:22, Senator Feinstein continues, "And, and what you're saying, if, if I understand it, is that the allegations by Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez, and Ms. Svetnick [sic] - Swetnick, um, are - are wrong."

During 3:31, just after Senator Feinstein mispronounces Ms. Swetnick's name — and then, continuing during her re-pronunciation, Brett Kavanaugh displays yet another one of these dramatic disgust-sniffing moments. He also hard-swallows, once again, during 3:32.

Brett Kavanaugh then goes on to say, "Yea-, that, that is empatically what I'm saying! Emphatically! The Swetnick thing is a joke! That is a farce!"

This Paralanguage/Statement Analysis tell is another profound moment in Kavanaugh's testimony. Here, during a time when he was far from his emotional baseline, he slipped. He twice points out (shouting) his opposition to Ms. Swetnick's allegations ("a joke" and "a farce") — but conspicuous in its abscence were any equally vigorous denials against Ms. Ford or Ms. Ramirez. In so doing, Kavanaugh is showing us that while he doesn't believe Ms. Swetnick — he lacks an equally vigorous objection to Ms. Ford and Ms. Ramirez. This behavior pattern strongly suggests Kavanaugh believes he is guilty of Ms. Ford's and Ms. Ramirez's allegations.

After Senator Feinstein asks, Mr. Kavanaugh, "Would you like to say more about it?", he leans forwards (rather than sitting forward - a person of high confidence would have already been sitting forward), his hands beneath the table (low confidence, withholding information, deceptive) and says, "No" (in a low confidence, whiny, up-talking manner, as if "No" had two syllables). His answer drew laughter from some of those in the room.

After Senator Feinstein says, "That's it. Thank you Mr. Chairman",  Kavanaugh turns to his left and makes one last extreme disgust display at the very last frame of this video (3:54).

It's profoundly important to point out that on many occasions during this exchange (and at a multitude of times during Kavanaugh's entire testimony) he became melodramatic and often tearful. His facial expressions showed extreme anger, contempt, disgust, sadness, and fear. Why did he have these reactions? When a person can't act convincingly (and in this context, can't lie convincingly) — with nuance and finesse — they most often default to hyperbole. Because they can't keep a 'poker-face, they overact — rather than underact. In so doing, they're attempting to disguise their tendency to give away obvious deception tells by turning up their emotion to extremes (turning up the background 'noise') - so as to emotionally flood their behavior (and our senses) and thus camouflage their deceptive tells. This is akin to putting extra garlic in the spaghetti sauce so the victim won't taste the poison. Kavanaugh has given us yet another fine example of such deceptive poor acting, hyper-dramatic, drowning-out behavior.

SUMMARY: During his testimony, then-Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh projected numerous disgust displays throughout this hearing. In addition, he demonstrated extreme anxiety, withholding of information, clandestine planning, and deception. Moreover, Judge Kavanaugh's need for such a strong and frequent emotional display is one of his several behaviors highly correlative with Impulse Control Disorder.

Furthermore, Judge Kavanaugh's nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage behavior, indicates with very high probability, that he believes he is innocent of Ms. Swetnick's allegations, however, he believes he's guilty of those allegations brought forth by Ms. Ford and Ms. Ramirez.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4395: Mike Pompeo - "Just the Past Ten Days Alone, We've Killed Over a Thousand Taliban"

Body Language Analysis No. 4394: Donald Trump, "I am The Chosen One"

Body Language Analysis No. 4393: El Paso Mass Shooter - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool

Body Language Analysis No. 4392: The Secret Tells behind Donald Trump's Statement, "No Puppet. No Puppet. You're the Puppet"

Body Language Analysis No. 4391: Donald Trump, Buzz Aldrin, and Variations on the 'Side-Eye'

Body Language Analysis No. 4390: Mike Pence visits 'Detention Center' in McAllen, Texas

Body Language Analysis No. 4295: Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos, and Red Flags

Body Language Analysis No. 4336: Alita: Battle Angel, Large Eyes, and Sexual Attraction

Body Language Analysis No. 4282: When Public Displays of Affection are More Frequent than those in Private