Thursday, October 31, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4402: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grills Mark Zuckerberg during Congressional Testimony — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Wednesday 23 October 2019, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the House Financial Services Committee. He was questioned regarding Facebook’s plan to create a cryptocurrency (known as Libra). Zuckerberg also was asked questions regarding election security. What follows is an analysis of a crucial portion of Mr. Zuckerberg's testimony — specifically with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

As Representative Maxine Waters says (beginning at 4:18:17), "The gentlewoman from New York, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is recognized for five minutes" — Mr. Zuckerberg immediately looks down to his right (gaze toward this direction/quadrant to is highly correlative with deception, shame, guilt, and sadness/grief).

The Facebook CEO also clenches his jaw (4:18:19). This is caused by an adrenaline surge — here associated with Zuckerberg's anxiety and anger.

He also displays a significant tightening of his mid-facial muscles - specifically in thinning of his lips, and with flaring of his nostrils. This nonverbal cluster signals anger.

In this moment, Zuckerberg is experiencing a high level of cognitive-emotional dissonance — simultaneous fear and anger. 

Notice too, that as Representative Waters said, "Ms." ("Ms. Ocasio-Cortez"), Zuckerberg momentarily elevated slightly off his chair (4:18:19). If you're self-aware and honest, you'll recall a similar experience. This butt-adjustment movement (often, but not always accompanied by a slight elevation in one's chair) — particularly when coupled with the above mentioned nonverbal changes, signals a sudden increase anal sphincter tone (Yes, you read that correctly). As one's anal sphincter muscle tightens, the other (external) buttocks muscles tighten too (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus). This dynamic is secondary to fear.

Moreover, along with this sudden increase in anal sphincter tone, another change simultaneously occurs in men. It's a cremasteric-related reflex. In plain speak, when men get frightened, their testicles retract (pull closer to their body). Of course, we can't see this, but we know it's happening as Zuckerberg lifts off his chair.

Zuckerberg then reaches for his water bottle. But curiously, a split second PRIOR to drinking we see a hard swallow. The water is needed because his throat was dry. And his throat was dry because he was nervous (4:18:22). He was nervous because he was contemplating lying on camera before congress.

As Representative Ocasio-Cortez says, "appreciate" (4:18:28 / "I think you of all people can appreciate"). We see Mr. Zuckerberg display a Tongue-in-Cheek display.

The tongue in cheek dynamic may indicate several different though-emotions depending on the other nonverbals with which it is clustered - i.e., "I just won", sadness/grief, anger, "I gotcha" (you were caught), projecting sexual interest, or deception.

Notice how widely Mr. Zuckerberg's eyelids are opened here. This indicates an adrenaline surge. His forehead is also considerably elevated (although this is difficult to see due to extensive Botox treatment).

Beginning at 4:18:46, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez asks, "Ah, Mr. Zuckerberg, what year and month did you personally first become aware of Cambridge Analytica?"

Immediately thereafter, during 4:18:53 - 4:18:54, Mr. Zuckerberg displays a sudden series of rapid blinking. Blinking is a non-specific signal of heightened anxiety. It can also be a manifestation of decreased eye contact and blocking (i.e., "I don't want to look at you").

A second later (4:18:54), Zuckerberg then displays what is known as a Loose Tongue Jut. A loose tongue jut indicates the thought-emotions of: "I've been caught", "I've been bad", "I've done a foolish thing".

Although not a required component of a loose tongue jut, the blink coinciding with Zuckerberg's example seen here, acts as an amplifier for these underlying thought-feelings.

Zuckerberg then immediately begins to say a drawn-out, "ahhh" 4:18:54 — note as he's saying this, his lips wrap tightly around his upper and lower teeth in the initial stages of a display known as an Inward Lip Roll. This particular inward lip roll is also stretched out in time (duration).

An inward lip roll is a sign that the psyche is trying to suppress the growth of both the emotions (inward) as well as the corresponding facial expressions (outward). 

A split-second later we see the end-point of the typical, more fully manifested, inward lip roll (4:18:55) as he says (first of the two stutters), "I'm" ("ahhh, I'm not, I'm not sure of the exact — time but it was probably — around the time when it became public. I think it was around March of Twenty-Eighteen. I, I could be wrong though."

Zuckerberg's stuttering throughout his testimony is a nonspecific but highly reliable signal of his anxiety (It's, of course, important to exclude stuttering as a speech disorder).

A second later (4:18:56) he displays a highly characteristic facial expression wherein his whole forehead (as a unit) moves downward - while, simultaneously, his inner (central/medial) forehead is contracted together and is pulling upward. This opposite direction-dynamic is a red flag.

Also, crucially, there is a subtle yet profoundly significant mouth smile - that's being suppressed. Do you see it? His feigned concern?

Zuckerberg's sudden head jerk-tilt together with the suppressed smile is forced and feigned. It occurs just as he says his second, "not" ("... I'm not, I'm not sure of the exact time..."). Note this is not a head shake (i.e., not a side-to-side, "no"), but rather a quick jerk-tilt of the head and neck.

You may have also notice that Zuckerberg looked away from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez - AND closed his eyes as he answered. Both of these are manifestations of decreased eye contact (correlative with deception). 

Beginning at 4:19:07, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez asks, "When did Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg become aware of Cambridge Analytica?"

Mr. Zuckerberg answers, "I, I don't know off the top of my head."

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez responds, "You don't know."

As Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is saying, "You don't know", notice Zuckerberg's mouth. His jaw thrusts forward while at the same time his lips also pinch forward in a subtle Forward Lip Purse (4:19:15). This is a common cluster facial tell for Zuckerberg.

The Jaw Jut is a manifestation of an adrenaline surge (often, although not always due to anger).

The forward lip purse tells us that the Facebook CEO is withholding information — a signal of a clandestine disagreement and/or a clandestine plan. It also is a sign that *he believes* he has a good chance of success with his undisclosed plan. It also shows us that *he believes* he's an alpha relative to anyone else in the room.

During this Forward Lip Purse/Jaw Jut Cluster, Zuckerberg continued his significantly high blinking frequency (heightened anxiety and diminished eye contact with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez).

The next question (beginning at 4:19:15) Rep. Ocasio-Cortez asks is, "And did anyone on your leadership team know about Cambridge Analytica prior to the initial report by The Guardian on December 11th, 2015?"

Zuckerberg's lips once again pull tightly over his upper and lower teeth (4:19:24). This dynamic demonstrates great hesitancy in wanting to talk. His psyche (and lips) are trying to hold his words in his mouth.

Before he answers, Zuckerberg's tongue once again juts out (another Loose Tongue Jut) — in a second nonverbal confessional display of: "I've been caught", "I've been bad", "I've done a foolish thing".

A split-second after this tongue jut, did you notice Zuckerberg again elevated off his chair? (displaying another, more subtle, butt adjustment/sphincter tightening/cremasteric fear reflex). Please watch the video, as the still images do not capture this dynamic.

Zuckerberg then proceeds to say, "Ah, congresswoman, I [stretched-out 'I'], I believe so — that some folks were, were ah [pause, blink] tracking it internally."

During 4:19:30, he stutters and pauses. Then, a split second after he says, "ah" ("that some folks were, were ah"), he blinks. This is Zuckerberg hesitating to disclose information. He's in a moment of cognitive-emotional dissonance. He's not sure what to say.

Zuckerberg's use of the word, "folks" in this context is theatrical. He's trying to appear disarming, humble, and simple — as if these, "folks" were just kinda moseying along and free to do what they wanted.

Just after he said, "internally", Zuckerberg once again displays the cluster of eyelid closure (blocking/decreased eye contact/anxiety), forward lip purse (clandestine plan/undisclosed disagreement/I'm alpha and you're beta), together with a jaw jut (adrenaline surge), (4:19:31).

Just after Rep. Ocasio-Cortez asks, "When was this issue discussed with your board member, Peter Thiel?", Zuckerberg's eyelids opened very widely (adrenaline surge from anger), his lips thinned (anger), and his jaw jutted out once more (adrenaline surge) (4:19:46).

He says, "Ah, Congresswoman, I don't, I don't know that off the top of my head", and displays yet another cluster of jaw jutting, lip pursing, and eyelid closing (4:19:51).

Zuckerberg's repeated use of the colloquial, "I don't know that off the top of my head", is another attempt to insert plausible deniability.

After he attempts to clarify his answer regarding the question about Peter Thiel, Zuckerberg again significant displayed anger (4:20:05).

Zuckerberg's verbal response is full of stuttering and misspeaking: "Well Congresswoman, I'm — sure we, we discuss [sic] it after — it ah, after, after we, we were aware of what happened." Note also the wiggle room Zuckerberg allowed by saying, "I'm sure we discuss [sic] it" — rather than, "Yes. We did discuss it".

After he finishes his answer regarding Facebook board member Peter Thiel, Zuckerberg looks down to his right (with both his eyes and his head/neck) — the quadrant associated with deception, shame, guilt, and sadness/grief).

You'll note that Zuckerberg uses the title, "Congresswoman" quite often. On its surface, this formality may initially appear to some people as a simple way to show respect (as of course, he should) — but he uses it much too often. When used excessively, such a spoken title has the opposite effect. It's patronizing and passive-aggressive. Also, if he were sincere, he would add Representative Ocasio-Cortez's name after her title. Moreover, saying "Congresswoman" repeatedly is also a method for Zuckerberg to steal a couple extra seconds in which to formulate his answer.

SUMMARY: Based on Mark Zuckerberg's nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage behavior displayed during this portion of his recent testimony before congress, with very high probability, he lied regarding Cambridge Analytica. With high probability, Zuckerberg also lied about Sheryl Sandberg's and Peter Thiel's knowledge of Cambridge Analytica.

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See also:

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. 4389: Jeffrey Epstein's Default Expression

Body Language Analysis No. 4388: Donald Trump regarding Drowned Father and Daughter in the Rio Grande

Body Language Analysis No. 4387: Donald Trump Welcomes Foreign Interference in US Elections 

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4332: Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, and The Kitchen Debate

Body Language Analysis No. 4298: LeBron James Walks Out of Post Game Press Conference after Game One Loss