Thursday, August 22, 2002

Is That a Zygomatic Smile or Did You Think My Joke Sucked?

The Nonverbal Dictionary of Gestures, Signs and Body Language Cues takes a look at the way your body and expressions can betray you as well as ways we are influenced by non-verbal sensory information. There's some really interesting things here:

"Today on NBC's Today Show Matt Lauer talked about how Madonna had lied to him about her announced pregnancy just the other day. He showed the video and her response, but he missed something to ponder about. She did what I call the eyelash flutter (different, under high speed camera, from the eye-blink: we can see that it does not close completely and the speed is amazing) when asked, 'Are you pregnant?' I first observed this eyelid behavior in 1985, and find that people who are troubled by a question or an event do this, especially if they have to answer and are about to lie. I tell attorneys to look for the eyelash flutter when they have people on the stand; it means they really do not like the question at all. I even had a case where the individual picked out the route of escape for me when I went through several routes with him; I just waited for the flutter to pick out the way." --Joe Navarro, Special Agent, FBI (3/21/00 7:02:26 PM Pacific Standard Time, and subsequent)

A lot of varied and intriguing discussion of everything from the effects of certain colors on people's mood to the reasons why people sometimes obsess over their lawns:

Damn, I poured my whole life into this lawn, my heart, my soul, the tender feelings I've held back from my family . . . . Look, some people hoist a flag to show they love their country. Well, my lawn is my flag. --Hank Hill, King of the Hill

Some very thought-provoking stuff.

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