Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. Nick Morgan on the Famous Mehrabian Study

The Mehrabian Study is one of the most misrepresented studies of all time, but in this quick video he explains the correct percentages.  Often what is left out is the tone of voice and how big a part it plays in the overall message and when you leave this part out, it implies that most everything is body language which is untrue. Body language is very important, but it should be used with everything else.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Zahra Baker's Father is Interviewed and Body language Expert Patti Woods Comments to News


Friday, February 25, 2011

Great Interview: Tim Grant on Forensic Linguistics


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Russell Williams Interrogation

Interrogations are like a Dance. There is a flow that develops that is dependent on personalities, communication styles, and the needs and motivation of the interviewee. It is important to know that this interrogation started around 3pm and it is not until almost 5 hours later that Russell Williams indirectly confesses by asking the interviewer, "Do you have a map?"

Find out more about Russell Williams and the case.

Things that you should watch for:

  • Body language, Russell Williams shows several times that he is stressed, for example when he holds his hand on the front of his neck.
  • He is thinking a great deal of time, frozen in time, as he weighs his options, or lack of options.
  • The patience of the interviewer.  These things do not happen like they do on TV or at the movies.  Notice the style and what the interviewer says.  He has several different options and ways to to guide the conversation.  He never plays things aggressively. 
  • As Russell Williams speaks, pay special attention to the things that motivate him (not the reasons he committed the crimes) but rather, what is he concerned about as a result of this interrogation. These are things that the interviewer could use to his advantage.
  • Russell Williams is defeated from the point he knows about the boot print and tire print. 
  • Indirect confession.  There are not Perry Mason moments in real life, they do not happen.  If you can crack the first indirect admittance of guilt, it becomes easier to gain more and more information, and you have a confession.  Too often, I have seen after the first admission and the detective or lawyer simply stops, because they have all that they think they need; this interrogation lasted almost 10 hours.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Williams explains why he murdered two women


Interesting Facial Expressions from "The Bachelor, Before and After the Rose"

The Bachelor's Photos - The Rose: Before And After

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Book Offers Body Language Advice to Leaders

"The Silent Language of Leaders" is the first book that ties effective body language to leadership results. Author, Carol Kinsey Goman shows how nonverbal communication impacts a leader's ability to negotiate, manage change, build trust, project charisma, and promote collaboration. 

Body language is the management of time, space, appearance, posture, gesture, vocal prosody, touch, facial expression, eye contact and breathing. The latest research in cognitive neuroscience and social psychology proves that body language is crucial to leadership effectiveness. 

- Five mistakes you can count on people making when they read your body language. 

- How to judge your personal "curb appeal." 

- the two sets of body language followers look for in leaders. 

- The body language savvy needed for negotiation, leading change, and building collaboration. 

- How gender differences in body language impact the effectiveness of male and female leaders. 

- Mirror neurons, leadership, and emotional contagion. 

- How to "fake" charisma. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Academia Research: Detecting Liars by What They Say

Aldert Vrij of the University of Portsmouth in England, Anders Granhag of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Stephen Porter of the University of British Columbia in Canada
suggest verbal methods of deception detection are more useful than non-verbal methods of communication.

Pitfalls and Opportunities in Nonverbal and Verbal Lie Detection

Psychological Science in the Public Interest December 2010 11: 89-121, doi:10.1177/1529100610390861

This is a very good paper that discusses much of the previous work by the major players in the academia field of deception. You can find the full  paper searching via Google Scholor at the time of this posting.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Expression of the Month Contest is Back!

Expression of the Month Contest is Back!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Forensic Linguistics: Linguist as Detective & Expert Witness


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sen. Scott Brown Recalls Childhood Abuse, Preview of This Sunday's 60 Minutes

If for some reason the video's code is not right, try this URL:

If you watch this video without having a baseline you could risk drawing the wrong conclusions.  You would notice the subtle smile/happiness as he describes these horrific events from his past.  Play the first part of the video again and you will see him smile as he is describing the physical and psychological abuse at the hands of his stepfather(s). When he is describing the sexual abuse he is often looking downward and to the left (as we see him) which can be an indicator (for some people) that they are remembering kinetically and/or emotionally.

 Does this mean he is lying about the abuse?  You would think that someone wouldn't have any positive emotions when describing these things.  Could it be that enough time has passed so it is not as emotional about it, or that he feels it will benefit him to be perceived as a victim.   He is in politics, and won a major political office, so by default  he is likable and personable- are we naturally wanting to believe him in spite of all the other signs?  Do we need to look for a baseline again?

First, check out this micro expression!

He is talking about himself as a youngster, and is showing both disgust and contempt.  It starts as disgust and then he also moves his cheek upward and his mouth moves upward (showing more teeth on one side of his mouth). This expression is shown very fast, even for a micro expression.

Let's get back to the baseline:

Check out the video at this it is the first video I found.  Notice how he answers the question about how he got into politics- you see the same micro expression (this time when thinking about the person he was talking to) and as  he describes the confrontational conversation with this person, we once again see the subtle smile/happiness appear.  It appears he mixes negative messages with the positive smile; this can backfire and leaves people feeling a bit confused... as a politician he should work on this.  There was a man in the town my dad lived that we were talking with him at a diner, and the man described in horrific detail a farm accident that his son had just suffered, and as he described it the entire event and for the entire time he had a large smile plastered on his face. So much so, after we walked out I asked my dad if he liked his son, was he happy that his son got hurt, or what was the deal with the smile.  My dad said he always smiles like that.  It was as if he mom told him to put a smile on his face, as a youngster, and he never took it off.

I think it is clear he is telling the truth about the abuse.

If further evidence is needed, take a look at the many news articles where the press quotes from the book about these incidents, and the word choices he used in the 60 minutes interview is different than the written word from the book- had they  been remotely similar it would have been a hotspot for me  (and a possible sign of a rehearsed made-up story).◦

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Language as a Window into Human Nature

This is one of the best videos I have seen combining both language, communication, and  relationships.

If you are a fan of Survivor season 22, “Redemption Island,” you were likely blown away by the last Tribal Council. To understand what happened, watch this video.

If you understand the concepts here you will be a better communicator and interviewer.

Imagine how you could 'allow' someone being questioned for a crime to use an "indirect speech act" and innuendo to start to explain what happened. Along the lines of, "For someone who would have killed him, what might be someone's reasons?"

This is one of those things that takes everything to a whole new higher level; while at the same time explains what we all have experienced over and over in our lives.◦

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stacy Schuler Appears In Court - Video - WLWT Cincinnati

Stacy Schuler Appears In Court - Video - WLWT Cincinnati

Watch this video, when she is leaving the courtroom you can test yourself and your ability to see micro expressions (sadness and anger). She is clearly 'wearing' her emotions on her face.◦

Check out this great MSN video: The Skinny on Smooching

Check out this great MSN video: The Skinny on Smooching

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Husband's 911 call: Henslee is missing

I have not been following this case at all, but got a message that the 911 call had been released.  As you know 911 calls are very important part of any investigation, after all it is the first contact with the police and often this first interaction can quickly lead investigators to a suspect- the caller.

I listened to the call not knowing any of the background and thought the husband acted 'normal' given the circumstances.  If someone is calling the police and had something to do with her disappearance they will often speak with too much emotion and start adding information (almost immediately) to support their alibi.  He does neither of these things.

He does some things that put me on alert:

  • His reference to 9:30 as the time she went missing.  This logically does not add up from a statement analysis standpoint.  wouldn't it be more accurate to say sometime before 10:00, or between the time he left and when he returned home.
  • Does not know of anyone he could call to ask if they had seen his wife.  This is strange and could be a clue that he was a jealous controlling husband who kept her isolated to "maintain their relationship" and keep outside forces from intruding.
  • No emotion in his voice.  We'd have to have his baseline to determine if this was normal for him.  Talk to people he worked with and interacted with, see if he was emotional, angry or mad in the past. See how he dealt with conflict. 
  • At one point in the call he does give the appearance that he wants to put this behind him.  Often people who have done something bad/wrong simply want to move on (and often lack the normal emotional response of grief or pain associated with a missing or murdered spouse). 
  • At first I was very taken back by his assertion that his wife must have left with someone, and my ears perked.  He states this on two different occasions in the different calls with the police.  That would be odd, if they lived in town where she could have just as easily walked to a neighbors house or a store.  It is likely they lived in a rural area (especially if the first bullet point proves to be true).
Find out what happened by reading this article, Amy Henslee's husband talked to Junior Lee Beebe Jr. twice on the day she was killed

Now we can go a step further and make some logical assumptions based on the information presented:
  • The victim lead an isolated life, likely because the husband wanted it to be that way.  No keys to your own home?  No friends he could call to check with?
  • The other victim was friends with either Junior Lee Beebe Jr.  and/or Amy Henslee- or both, and this was not known to her husband.
Some questions that screams to be answered:
  • How did Junior Lee Beebe Jr. convince Amy to leave with him?
  • Was Tonya Howarth with her at the time, at Amy's house and they both left together with Junior Lee Beebe Jr.?
  • Did Junior Lee Beebe Jr. use a ruse involving Tonya to lure her to his home?
  • Did Tonya just happen to find herself at the wrong place at the wrong time?
  • Was this a sexual assault on one or both of the women and their deaths were done to cover up this crime?
  • Did one or both of the victims have a relationship with the accused that predates the date of their murder?
  • Did the three of them hang out together at other times?
  • We cannot assume that she didn't answer the telephone call; or ignored the call.  Records need to be chaecked. 
  • We need to know exactly when he arrived home to check on her, and when he called the police.  Micro analysis of the time and events of everyone is required.  There are likely large gaps of time unaccounted for.
There appears to be some other statements made by both the arrested and the husband.  In the next couple of days I will take a further look at these and see if we can learn more from these items.


    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    New Facial Tool For Researchers and Computer Animators

    FACSGen: A Tool to Synthesize Emotional Facial Expressions Through Systematic Manipulation of Facial Action Units
    Etienne B. Roesch, Lucas Tamarit

    Journal of Nonverbal Behavior
    Volume 35, Number 1, 1-16, DOI: 10.1007/s10919-010-0095-9

    To investigate the perception of emotional facial expressions, researchers rely on shared sets of photos or videos, most often generated by actor portrayals. The drawback of such standardized material is a lack of flexibility and controllability, as it does not allow the systematic parametric manipulation of specific features of facial expressions on the one hand, and of more general properties of the facial identity (age, ethnicity, gender) on the other. To remedy this problem, we developed FACSGen: a novel tool that allows the creation of realistic synthetic 3D facial stimuli, both static and dynamic, based on the Facial Action Coding System. FACSGen provides researchers with total control over facial action units, and corresponding informational cues in 3D synthetic faces. We present four studies validating both the software and the general methodology of systematically generating controlled facial expression patterns for stimulus presentation.◦

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    An Article You Should Check Out: Body language expert says video suggests a neurological condition with Julie Schenecker

    First Watch the video:

    Now read the article:

    Body language expert says video suggests a neurological condition