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Mon Oct 21, 2019, 10:22 AM

Body Language Expert Dissects Iconic Pelosi/Trump Photo

Last edited Mon Oct 21, 2019, 12:08 PM - Edit history (1)

ORIGINAL Twitter thread:



UNROLLED thread:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1186032130255548416.html


1/ Earlier this week, a short, abbreviated analysis of this image was tweeted. What follows is a much more in-depth analysis of Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and the others in the room.

2/ When a person has little or no empathy — and/or when they're far from their emotional baseline, their ability to interpret how others will view an event becomes dramatically distorted.

3/ Rarely has this behavioral axiom been better exemplified than last Wednesday at the White House. President Trump and members of his cabinet met with congressional leaders to discuss Turkey, Syria, and the Kurdish people.

3/ After Donald Trump engaged in ad hominem attacks toward Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer left the meeting. After the meeting, Donald Trump tweeted out the above image which will no doubt become historic.

4/ After Donald Trump engaged in ad hominem attacks toward Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer left the meeting. After the meeting, Donald Trump tweeted out the above image which will no doubt become historic.

5/ The photo quickly went viral. And the collective Body Language was profoundly telling — just not in the way Donald Trump believed it to be. It backfired on the President in ways that cannot begin to be quantified.

6/ What follows is a detailed nonverbal analysis of this now-famous photo, with multiple cropped close-ups.

7/ Notice President Trump's orientation to both Speaker Pelosi and the table. Both his chair and Trump's torso are leaning away from Pelosi. For him, this configuration is highly unusual. Trump's almost always leaning forward — whether he's seated or standing.

8/ Moreover, the President's hands are hidden beneath the table. This too is not at all Trump's normal behavior. When he's seated at table or a desk, his hands are most often on its surface — otherwise, they're folded across his chest. What we see here is rare for Trump.

9/ Hiding one's hands is a red flag for withdrawal, a need for protection, a hidden agenda, and dishonesty.

10/ Donald Trump's medial (inner) eyebrows are vectored downward. The expression on his face is an amalgam of both anger and fear.

11/ Donald Trump's body language is projecting a significantly beta and protective emotional tone. He's fearful and withdrawing while telegraphing significant dishonesty.

12/ Look back at the full picture. Notice how Trump repositioned his glass forward on the table? He frequently does this with any objects placed in front of him.

13/ This is a manifestation of narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissists routinely force themselves into others' personal spaces and take up more room in common spaces.

14/ In contrast, Nancy Pelosi's body language is hyper-alpha. She's not only standing up — she's the only one standing. Pelosi's whole body is leaning forward — her thighs against the table.


15/ Nancy Pelosi is pointing with her most powerful finger (the index finger aka forefinger) on her dominant hand. Her arm is moderately extended — again, over the table. The remainder of her fingers and her thumb are retracted (amplifying the finger's power).

16/ Speaker Pelosi is pointing just over the head of President Trump, seated directly across the table from her. Pelosi's eyebrows and her forehead are elevated.

17/ While it is expressing emphasis, her face is not conveying significant anger, nor does she have an expression indicative of yelling/high volume in this moment.

18/ Later that day, Speaker Pelosi recounted what she had been saying to the President when this image was captured: "With you, all roads lead to Putin".

19/ On Trump's side of the table, nearly everyone is either sitting away from the table or looking downward with their hands clasped (frustration and beta). We also see a Gestalt theme, with multiple hands being hidden.

20/ Three out of five of the men sitting to Trump's right have their head, neck, and torsos bending forward. Quite notably, NONE of these three men are looking up. This is consistent with shame, sadness, and/or deception.

21/ Immediately to Trump's right is General Mark Milley — the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Along with his head, neck, and torso leaning forward — his jaw is clenched, which is signaling an adrenaline surge.

22/ He's not only looking down, but his eyebrows are also dramatically lowered. His lips are thinned (anger). The corner of his mouth is angled downward (indicating regret and/or sadness). His fingers are tightly intertwined (frustration).

23/ To General Milley's right is Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. His torso is leaning backward, away from the table, although his hands appear to be on the table and intertwined or clasped (view mostly occluded). McConnell's face is not visible.

24/ Seated to Senator McConnell's right is Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. He's also leaning forward, looking down. His hands are clasped. His mouth is foreshortened with the left corner turned downward (Sadness, Regret).

25/ To John Sullivan's right is House Minority Whip, Steve Scalise (R-LA). He's leaning far forward (particularly his head and neck), and looking down and appears to be writing.

26/ The man seated to Scalise's right is White House counsel Pat Cipollone (to Trump's far-right, at the end of the table).

27/ He's sitting back with his torso away from the table. Although our view of him is limited, his arms appear to be crossed (defensive, close-minded, protective) and he seems to be looking at Nancy Pelosi.

28/ Immediately to Trump's left is Defense Secretary Mark Esper. His torso, neck, and head are upright — the only person on Trump's side of the table with a semi-engaged posture. However, his hands are clasped.

29/ Esper's behavior, both here and at other times he's appeared in photos or speaking, is significantly robotic. Behaviorally, he strives to live in the middle of the Bell curve. He avoids extremes. Mark Esper is hyper-contained and prides himself on this characteristic.

30/ Esper's jaw is clenched too — but not nearly as tight as General Milley's.

31/ To Esper's left is House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy. He was captured during an extended blink in this photo. His eyebrows are mildly lowered, however, his forehead is mildly elevated (this opposite direction dynamic of these two adjacent tissues is a red flag).

32/ His torso is also leaning backward - pulled away from the desk in another variation of non-engagement.

33/ Intriguingly, McCarthy's hands are mostly hidden too — with his fingers are beneath the table, with his thumbs hooked on its surface — whilst he appears to be pushing back, away from the table. His mouth is mildly regretful. McCarthy is blocking Trump's behavior.

34/ He is trying to tolerate the situation in which he finds himself. He's mentally pushing back. He does NOT want to be there.

35/ Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, is seated to McCarthy's left. Like Trump, he's also positioned his hands beneath the table. This is a troublesome configuration for anyone in authority to adopt during a meeting.

36/ Barring a physical condition, individuals who sit with their hands beneath the table in such scenarios are very often hiding something. It's deception tell — particularly if a question is asked, and, as they answer verbally, their hands retract into hiding.

37/ At the far end of the table — and slightly on Pelosi's half, is White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland. His eyes are also closed. It's statistically unlikely that both he and Kevin McCarthy would be both naturally caught blinking.

38/ Thus, this blinking is behavioral and of longer duration. They are blocking and distancing themselves from the situation.

39/ Note Eric Ueland's hands are also beneath the table — leaning backward with his torso, withdrawn from the table.

40/ It's intriguing that Mr. Ueland, who has a relative power seat (at the end of a long table, away from the door), has chosen to orient himself on Speaker Pelosi's side of the table rather than on Trump's hemisphere of the room.

41/ To Eric Ueland's right (closer to Pelosi) are Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Liz Cheney (R-WY), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

42/ Although Ms. Cheney's and Mr. Menendez's face are partially occluded, it's clear that all three of these House members have their hands to their mouths.

43/ This hand-to-mouth dynamic is a common body language configuration to adopt when one is witnessing an argument — but not directly participating in it. These two Democrats & one Republican are nonverbally in a state of emotional processing — in cognitive-emotional dissonance.

44/ Their intellectual brains are aware of a dramatic confrontation — while their emotional brains are trying to fully process its ramifications. This hand-to-mouth signal also conveys our desire to see a person (who's getting over-emotional) calm their temper.

45/ It's also quite notable that Engel, Cheney, and Menedez all have at least one of their respective arms/elbows/hands on top of — not beneath the table.

46/ This more visible signals more engagement and honesty compared with people whose hands are beneath the table (conveying withdraw, need for protection, hidden agenda, and dishonesty).

47/ Seated immediately to Speaker Pelosi's left is House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer. He is the only Democrat in this image sitting back from the table.

48/ His eyelids are also closed (third person in this photo) — probably also in the midst of an extended blink. Again, desiring to psychologically block the behavior of the President.

49/ Immediately to Nancy Pelosi's right is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Senator Schumer is leaning forward and also looking down.

50/ Although he's possibly reading the document in front of him, it's much more likely that he doesn't want to look at the President shouting. Both of Schumer's arms are on the table (engaged).

51/ Jack Reed (D-RI) is seated to Schumer's right. Like Reps. Engel, Cheney, and Menedez — Reed also has both arms on top of the table (more engaged) but with one hand to his mouth ...

52/ ...(again, in this context, it's a signal of both emotional processing and a desire for calm tempers/dialog/discussion — rather than anger/yelling/ad hominem attacks).

53/ Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) is not only leaning back in his chair (disengaged) with his hands and arms beneath the table (hiding, like a turtle who is pulled into his shell) — but his hands are in a seated fig-leaf configuration.

54/ A fig-leaf (whether used seated or standing) conveys significant beta mindset, vulnerability, and a need for protection.

55/ Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), seated in the lower-left corner of the image (blurred, closest to the camera) has an expression combination of disgust, a suppressed smile, and impatience.

56/ Rep. McCaul is leaning forward and it appears he has both hands on the table with his fingers intertwined (frustrated).

57/ SUMMARY: The body language is profound in this image. Most of the Republicans in the room — including President Trump are expressing hyper-beta emotional tones. They're withdrawn, protective, projecting a hidden agenda, and suggesting dishonest intent.

continued ...
58/ General Mark Milley, whose political beliefs are not publicly known, bears special attention. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is feeling a combination of anger, shame, frustration, regret, and sadness.

continued ...
59/ In contrast, most of the Democrats in the room are engaged and in disbelief at the President's behavior. With the exception of Nancy Pelosi, they're not hyper-alpha but alpha/assertive in their mindsets.

continued ...
60/ Nancy Pelosi is hyper-alpha and hyper-assertive — although not hyper-angry, in this moment.

continued ...
61/ If we suddenly developed amnesia and we weren't aware of their relative elected positions of power, we would think that Nancy Pelosi was indeed the President — and that Trump was in the midst of being fired.

END

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Arrow 78 replies Author Time Post
Reply Body Language Expert Dissects Iconic Pelosi/Trump Photo (Original post)
CousinIT Oct 21 OP
Ninga Oct 21 #1
homegirl Oct 21 #6
jberryhill Oct 21 #2
CrispyQ Oct 21 #3
Haggis for Breakfast Oct 21 #66
NewJeffCT Oct 21 #4
wnylib Oct 21 #11
mopinko Oct 21 #16
wnylib Oct 21 #22
LiberalFighter Oct 21 #23
emmaverybo Oct 21 #56
mopinko Oct 21 #58
TeamPooka Oct 21 #19
jberryhill Oct 21 #20
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 21 #44
Hekate Oct 21 #68
BumRushDaShow Oct 21 #27
jberryhill Oct 21 #35
BumRushDaShow Oct 21 #36
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 21 #45
jberryhill Oct 21 #46
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 21 #49
jberryhill Oct 21 #50
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 21 #51
kiri Oct 21 #29
Cuthbert Allgood Oct 21 #31
MarcA Oct 21 #38
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 21 #60
Cuthbert Allgood Oct 21 #30
davsand Oct 21 #32
llmart Oct 21 #41
druidity33 Oct 21 #39
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 21 #61
stevesinpa Oct 21 #43
jberryhill Oct 21 #47
TimeToGo Oct 21 #55
tclambert Oct 21 #62
TimeToGo Oct 21 #65
Orrex Oct 21 #67
Guilded Lilly Oct 21 #5
lagomorph777 Oct 21 #24
ECSkeptic Oct 21 #7
kiri Oct 21 #34
CousinIT Oct 22 #71
jberryhill Oct 21 #48
ECSkeptic Oct 21 #52
mountain grammy Oct 21 #8
crazytown Oct 21 #9
flibbitygiblets Oct 21 #25
Toorich Oct 21 #10
SCVDem Oct 21 #12
Texin Oct 21 #14
Tipperary Oct 21 #64
debsy Oct 21 #13
cp Oct 21 #15
calimary Oct 21 #17
Hekate Oct 21 #18
oldsoftie Oct 21 #21
llmart Oct 21 #42
Caliman73 Oct 21 #26
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 22 #70
Hekate Oct 21 #28
Act_of_Reparation Oct 21 #33
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 22 #69
Act_of_Reparation Oct 22 #74
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 22 #76
Act_of_Reparation Oct 22 #77
Bernardo de La Paz Oct 22 #78
burrowowl Oct 21 #37
robbedvoter Oct 21 #40
Chemisse Oct 21 #53
chia Oct 22 #73
Silver1 Oct 21 #54
jimlup Oct 21 #57
Hermit-The-Prog Oct 21 #59
Tipperary Oct 21 #63
DeSmet Oct 22 #72
Nitram Oct 22 #75

Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 10:29 AM

1. Every word.

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Response to Ninga (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 10:55 AM

6. So telling

BRILLIANT!

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 10:30 AM

2. What degree programs are offered in Body Language and how does one become an "expert" at it?


Other than calling oneself a "body language expert" what are the qualifications, exactly, to be one?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 10:42 AM

3. I don't know, but "Lie to Me" with Tim Roth was a great series.



It was more about micro-expressions, but the main character also used body language & verbal tone to suss out deception in others.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 09:50 PM

66. "Lie to Me" was based on the life work of Dr. Paul Eckman,

who pioneered the field of micro-expressions, but the man is also a genius at physical manifestation of body positions. He has authored several excellent books on body language/facial expressions. His work is required reading for the intelligence community.

Although the show took license with some of his work, he was a consultant to the show.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 10:42 AM

4. good question

His twitter bio doesn't have his background, other than saying he's a body language and emotional intelligence expert.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 11:36 AM

11. Don't know but I would think that both

psychology and biology backgrounds would be necessary. Some study in animal behavior as well.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #11)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 12:34 PM

16. much of what we know about body language was learned from studying apes.

that was the main tool of goodall, etc. translating emotional language.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 01:19 PM

22. Yes and I love not only Jane's work

on chimps but other studies results on ape behavior. If you haven"t seen it yet I recommend videos from the PBS series called The Human Spark.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 01:23 PM

23. So it should be easy to gauge Trump's body language.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 06:18 PM

56. Desmond Morris, zoologist and ethnologist, author of The Naked Ape helped to popularize

body-language interpretation. Like Goodall, he studied apes, and he carried out cross-cultural studies. Such an interesting area of human behavior.

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #56)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 08:10 PM

58. it is a thing i geek out to.

i try to imagine the ripple effects of the full recognition of evolution, and our brotherhood w other species. unlike the fundies, this fills me w hope.
a book that changed my life, srsly, the moral animal, robert wright.
basically, what do we know about people, now that we understand that they are naked apes. where does altruism come from? how do you nurture a good person.

coupled w another thing w me, brain development in humans, i'm convinced we could build a world based on our inherent reward centers and basic drives instead of imaginary sky daddies and headman culture.
it would be a new renaissance.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 12:56 PM

19. Google is your friend

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #19)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 01:01 PM

20. Obviously not today it isn't


Perhaps you have better skills than I do, but I cannot find a single accredited university or college which offers a degree program in body language.

How many did you find?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #20)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:29 PM

44. Took me 10 seconds. Used '"body language" studies' first, changed to '"body language" degree'.


You are welcome.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #44)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 11:21 PM

68. Bernardo

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 01:58 PM

27. Apparently these people are psychologists with advanced degees

and this type of "nonverbal communication" is a specialty of that - https://www.apa.org/research/action/speaking-of-psychology/nonverbal-communication

And they even get government-funded research, for example - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4543892/

I don't know all the "research" background of this particular guy outside of his Linkedin profile indicating a medical degree with a residency to be an ophthalmologist... although he frequently makes appearances on major media outlets. He also claims to have been an undergrad the same years I was ('79 - '83).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #27)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:10 PM

35. Obviously, math is not his strong suit


His Linkedin profile is having an argument with itself.

"20 + years a Physician & Body Language Expert"



" Body Language Success
Body Language and Emotional Intelligence Exper
Dates Employed Jun 1987 – Present
Employment Duration 32 yrs 5 mos"

I guess the first 12 yeas was fooling around?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #35)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:13 PM

36. I was in an ACS-certified chemist track

and the pre-med major classmates I had in some of my chem classes tended to take the "lower level" versions of math.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #35)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:32 PM

45. Unknown to you, US govt studies find people change careers 3 times, on average.


And change jobs 7 times.

Sorry, I don't have a link, but the statistics impressed me as very credible at the time.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #45)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:55 PM

46. What makes you believe that is unknown to me?


Not really sure what the relevance is. When your resumé says you've been at something for 32 years, then re-stating that as 20 years in the same document is still confusing.

As another poster put it, "body language" and "handwriting analysis" in the popular imagination are far more than they are cracked up to be.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #46)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 04:06 PM

49. Except his resume doesn't say that. And you set up a false equivalency.


His resume says he has been employed for 32 years. Of that 32 years, the last 20 have been involved with body language. It does not say he has been involved with body language for 32 years. No contradiction, no math problem, no restatement, not hard to understand. He is permitted to change his career after 12 years of employment.

Handwriting analysis does not have anywhere near the foundational studies that body language does, nor does it have master level degree programs like body language. So highlighting any equivalency that might exist in the popular imagination does not correspond with the reality of the science behind one and not the other. It is not especially helpful to talk about the popular imagination in this context.

The equivalency you set up does not exist in the minds of serious people.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #49)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 04:11 PM

50. Huh?

It's his OWN company he's been running for 32 years as a body language expert.

It says, right there, he's the CEO/Owner since 1987.

" It does not say he has been involved with body language for 32 years."

Dude, look at it again. It says he's been the "CEO/OWNER" of "BODY LANGUAGE SUCCESS" as an expert - since it is HIS solo consultancy - for 32 freaking years. That's the import of having started his own company as such a self-proclaimed expert in 1987. You are arguing with subtraction.

Read it.

I was merely making an editorial comment that it's usually a good idea not to have 32 years in one place and 20 in another, but, golly, I have no idea how you are reading that to say anything other than he's been running his own company in the field for 32 years.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #50)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 04:17 PM

51. I read exactly what you quoted. And your false equivalency is still false.

I trusted you provided an accurate quote you say you got from LinkedIn which I therefore did not pursue, herewith quoted again:

"20 + years a Physician & Body Language Expert"

" Body Language Success
Body Language and Emotional Intelligence Exper
Dates Employed Jun 1987 – Present
Employment Duration 32 yrs 5 mos"


That says he was employed 32 years and 20+ years (presumably the last 20) are as a Body Language expert.

"employed 32 years" is not the same as "running a company 32 years".

If you are privy to further info beyond what you quoted, you can't expect me to be able to read your mind.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:01 PM

29. body language vs. handwriting analysis

I have grave doubts that about "body language" expertise. Crying is clear, a laugh/smile is usually clear; all the rest seems imagination and projection of what is wished. Cf. "handwriting analyses".

Nonetheless, I enjoy reading to feed my confirmation biases.



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Response to kiri (Reply #29)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:04 PM

31. We all enjoy that.

Well put.

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Response to kiri (Reply #29)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:40 PM

38. Also, wouldn't more than one still photo or film be more telling.

Just using this one photo the interpretation could have been others
backing off from a rude person, although other content shows this not
to be the case.

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Response to kiri (Reply #29)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 08:36 PM

60. There is solid scientific foundation for body language but little for handwriting analysis


It would be a clear mistake to try to establish some kind of equivalency of merit.

Further, anyone shooting BL down for not providing a perfect iron-clad analysis is trapped in all-or-nothing thinking.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:03 PM

30. As someone with a Master's in Communication, I'm with you.

An "expert" in body language has very little to no meaning. And while generalizations can be made, it is very far from an exact science. He's making a lot of assumptions in this tweet thread.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:06 PM

32. Nonverbal Communication is possibly what you are looking for in academic arenas.

Can't speak for what the situation is now, but back in the early 80's it was frequently taught as part of a speech communications department along with small group dynamics, public speaking, and debate. It used to be a fairly popular choice for corporations looking to hire people good with people skills.

A lot of what is included in those observations would have been included in one of those classes.


Laura

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Response to davsand (Reply #32)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:11 PM

41. It was also taught for those of us obtaining degrees in Organizational Behavior...

and/or Human Resources. Quite a few human behavior, psychology and sociology courses were required if you were obtaining those degrees. The thinking was that in order for someone in a hiring capacity to evaluate the "fit" of a person for a particular position, it was one factor in making your decision.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:58 PM

39. Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)? nt.

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Response to druidity33 (Reply #39)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 08:39 PM

61. Nope, that is an orthogonal direction and discredited. Not comparable to body language studies


... which have a good foundation.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:27 PM

43. why dont you google it?

simple as that

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Response to stevesinpa (Reply #43)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:56 PM

47. I did


And was unable to find a degree program in "body language" from an accredited college or university.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 06:17 PM

55. Reading fortunes

By reading bumps on a head

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Response to TimeToGo (Reply #55)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 09:00 PM

62. All you need is a mallet and you can give yourself whatever bumps on the head fortune you want.

Terry Pratchett called it reverse phrenology.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #62)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 09:44 PM

65. 😎

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 11:19 PM

67. Yeah, that was my question as well

I know that kinesiology is a thing, but so often when I read these (the current example included), they come across as somewhat facile and obvious, rather than as the spectacular Holmes-like dissections that they purport to be.

"Bob is holding a smoldering pipe, and smoke is coming out of his mouth. This suggests that he has recently inhaled through the pipe."

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 10:54 AM

5. Kick. I will forever enjoy this photo immensely.

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Response to Guilded Lilly (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 01:26 PM

24. It will be painted as a fresco in public spaces, to remind America

of what nearly happened to us, as a warning never to fall for it again.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 10:56 AM

7. You have to be careful...

...with analyses like these. The problem is that the analyzer already knows the content of the meeting, what was said and the effects it had, and that can inject bias into the analysis. If you already know the general emotional state of the participants (and we already know Trump was getting his fat ass handed to him), it's almost impossible not to interpret everything you see in a manner consistent with your knowledge of the events.

That's not a knock on the writer or their expertise; it's an observation about how human brains work. Confirmation bias can and does creep in subconsciously into observation and analyses. The best way to analyze the body language of a photo would be to have it coded using a consistent coding scheme by more than one body language expert, all of whom should have no knowledge of the event other than the photo itself. Then their codings would be pooled/averaged. However, given the widespread exposure of these events, I don't think that's feasible in this case.

It's still an interesting article, and makes some very intriguing observations, but I would be cautious about making scientific or psychological claims based on this kind of analysis.

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Response to ECSkeptic (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:10 PM

34. excellent

as posted above--I agree with your better critique.

I have grave doubts that about "body language" expertise. Crying is clear, a laugh/smile is usually clear; all the rest seems imagination and projection of what is wished. Cf. "handwriting analyses".

Nonetheless, I enjoy reading to feed my confirmation biases.




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Response to kiri (Reply #34)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 06:36 AM

71. Reading body language is a skill FBI profilers and psychologists use.

Body language can tell a LOT about a person even when his/her words do not. It's part of what's called 'emotional intelligence'

I wouldn't discount it completely. Not to say that it could never be wrong or be skewed by confirmation bias - but it is a science and a skill.

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Response to ECSkeptic (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:57 PM

48. Just out of curiosity


Is there any other field of analysis in which knowing more context about the thing under study is a detriment?

Usually, scientific analysis is objective, and not a matter of "pick a card and don't tell me what it is".

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #48)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 05:33 PM

52. EVERY field of science that relies upon empirical data must guard against observer bias.

Statistical tests are designed to avoid bias; experimental designs are carefully structured and documented to allow other researchers to replicate the results and check them for bias.

When you're dealing with observer judgments of human behavior, you have to be particularly careful about observer bias. I once worked as a lab assistant in a set of studies that relied upon listeners' judgment of the mental state of speakers who were speaking under specific conditions. We had to control for listeners' ability to hear and understand spoken English, we had to carefully control the conditions under which we made recordings of our speakers, we controlled how the speech was presented to listeners, and we had to ensure that all speakers were saying the same things under the same conditions. And it was absolutely critical that the listeners didn't know which group of speakers was which (control vs. experimental). If the listeners knew what group was what, that would make the resulting data useless.

Similarly, the analyst here already knew much of the result of this meeting in the White House. It's nearly impossible to screen out the bias inherent in the analysis, because much of it is unconscious; the analyst simply isn't aware of it. That's how brains work.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 11:15 AM

8. 62/ Trump is a raging lunatic.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 11:20 AM

9. like Nancy Pelosi was the President -- and Trump was being fired

Yep.

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Response to crazytown (Reply #9)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 01:28 PM

25. She is certainly working on firing him, and from his body language, he knows it

The guy to Dumps right (joint Chief's guy?) is the one who intrigues me the most. Before I read any of this body language analysis, I could tell that guy is ashamed and afraid.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 11:35 AM

10. Some real good books...

...written on "Poker tells" and jury selection, that give much information
on body language. Google is our friend.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 11:39 AM

12. Cliff's Notes Version

tRump got caught with his hands in the cookie jar and Madame Speaker is telling him he's going to the woodshed.

The rest is typical male response when someone else is in trouble. Bred in from authoritative female influence, mother, teacher.

Please don't let me be next!

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Response to SCVDem (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 12:06 PM

14. Basically she was taking tRump to the woodshed & the mostly male listeners were squirming

uncomfortably (and some of them angry) because they're uncomfortable with female dominance on display, but all the while they were experiencing discomfort because they knew she was right and personally unafraid of tRump's cavalier bravado.

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Response to SCVDem (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 09:30 PM

64. I posted essentially the same thing before I read your post.

Nail on head.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 11:43 AM

13. blah, blah, blah...Nancy...President...blah, blah, blah

Not to diminish everything that was pointed out but that is what I want to see!

Seriously, though, these are very astute observations that are quite obvious when viewed through an unbiased, scientific lens.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 12:14 PM

15. Fascinating

as Spock would say.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 12:44 PM

17. I find this stuff absolutely fascinating. VERY illuminating and instructive.

It’s MOST interesting. I look at this stuff as a total amateur body language “analyst”. But it’s something that I’ve always found fascinating. There are lots of “tells” in this photo. Some of it is just plain ok’ logical assumptions. What you unconsciously do or how you sit or stand and how much “real estate” you take up to telegraph subliminal messaging. When you’re feeling’ your oats versus when you feel defensive, less than, not dominant. You unconsciously sit a certain way, stand a certain way. Telegraphing messaging about how you really feel inside, versus the words you speak. I find myself taking note of this stuff all the time as I watch people.

I thoroughly enjoy reading through this expert’s analysis. MOST illuminating this is.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 12:50 PM

18. Interesting stuff

Thank you

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 01:09 PM

21. Trump has the "Daddy, why are they so MEAN to me???" look. All the time.

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #21)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:15 PM

42. I actually would not be surprised if his mother wasn't the parent who he feared the most.

Very little is known about his mother and have we ever heard him speak of her? I haven't. I know a couple of men about his age who had domineering and abusive mothers, and they are to a man more frightened by a strong woman than they are a strong man.

Just my anecdotal observations.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 01:51 PM

26. The "alpha" and "beta" is pop psychology

I know that the terms are used, but they are basically pop psychology terms. The idea of "alpha" and "beta" traits were popularized in studying wolves, but the author of that study acknowledged that the terms were based on faulty observations of dominance and submissiveness within captured wolf populations and within a family structure. The "Alpha" male was the father, and "Alpha" female was the mother.

To me, anyone who uses alpha or beta for human power positions loses some credibility.

The guy could have said that Pelosi was showing an assertive or dominant physical stance and Trump was showing defensive or submissive posture, but for me it went off the rails with "alpha and beta".

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #26)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 05:30 AM

70. That's a bit shallow. Alpha/beta still respected & used by researchers of Primate groups.


As I understand it, primates are closer to humans than wolves.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:00 PM

28. Just finished giving this a close reading. Bookmarking. Stunning -- & I'd bet highly accurate.

I'm one of the many who immediately set to analyzing this photo, but have a limited vocabulary for doing so compared to Dr. Jack Brown.

That was a hell of a historic moment when the Speaker of the House of Representatives pointed her finger at the President of the US and said, "With you, all roads lead to Putin."

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:08 PM

33. Oh, bullshit.

The only thing this asshole's an expert in is shameless self-promotion. Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #33)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 05:22 AM

69. What makes him an "ASSHOLE"? Such a strong opinion has no relevance without explanation.


I certainly don't believe your post #33 I read on the internet.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #69)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 09:33 AM

74. In the long sad history of asshole moves, peddling woo ranks somewhere between...

...door-to-door solicitation and talking in the theater.

If proliferation of nonsense isn't sufficient "explanation" for you, consider the implications of said nonsense, that one can interpret and possibly predict internal (and even unconscious) disposition just by looking at photograph of someone.

It's stupid and it's dangerous, and people who deal in stupid dangerous ideas are assholes.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #74)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 01:12 PM

76. It is a mistake to think that body language is "woo". There is real science behind it. Not nonsense


It is unlike crystals, fortune telling & phrenology.

It's not stupid, not dangerous. You can use it in your own life for good benefit.

It's very obvious that when tRump folds his arms and sits back in his chair, he is not engaged and is defensive. That's just one of many examples and just one person.

No it is not an exact science like electromagnetism. It is much more like the skills teachers use to read and manage children. Those skills also have science to back it up and training.

But perhaps you would like to say Teacher's Colleges are ASSHOLES for teaching those skills.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #76)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 01:14 PM

77. Citation needed.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #77)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 01:17 PM

78. Citation provided

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 02:14 PM

37. K&R

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 03:08 PM

40. another take

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 05:43 PM

53. The observation about the glass being pushed out is really interesting.

And really glaring now that it's pointed out.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #53)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 09:25 AM

73. He does it a lot, I'm reminded of this video:

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 05:53 PM

54. Very cool!

How interesting. The photo looks almost staged to me because of the body language, like a painting would be.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 06:31 PM

57. Excellent and obvious

thank you!

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 08:11 PM

59. good analysis, not overdone and stretched

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Mon Oct 21, 2019, 09:09 PM

63. Interesting read.

I would put it more succinctly lol, they look like a bunch of little boys being scolded.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 06:58 AM

72. Wow

I don't think the Last Supper was scrutinized as much as this photo. Great work and thanks.

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 10:16 AM

75. This is a very interesting analysis, and I think most of it is

very insightful. There are a few minor instances where I think the interpretation is a little off.

#7 "Both his chair and Trump's torso are leaning away from Pelosi" I see Trump sitting straight up, neither leaning forward nor leaning back.

#33 "McCarthy's hands are mostly hidden too — with his fingers are beneath the table, with his thumbs hooked on its surface — whilst he appears to be pushing back, away from the table..." I believe his hands, with all his fingers, are pushing on the side of the table. His thumbs are actually hooked BELOW the table. Perhaps the good doctor mistook the hands' reflection for his thumbs.

#33 "McCarthy is blocking Trump's behavior." I think it is more likely that he is blocking Pelosi's behavior.

#36 "..individuals who sit with their hands beneath the table in such scenarios are very often hiding something.." It could also mean that the person is disengaged from the meeting because they are uncomfortable with the emotions being expressed.

#40 "Mr. Ueland...has chosen to orient himself on Speaker Pelosi's side of the table rather than on Trump's hemisphere of the room." Equally likely is that he chose a position from which he could clearly observe the president.

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