Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Current Journal of Emotion Has Several Things You Should Check Out

I love getting to read about studies like these, because they are not only interesting, but at least a couple of them will be talked about in newspapers, magazines, on the web, and on TV in the coming weeks and months...

Detection of emotional faces is modulated by the direction of eye gaze.
Milders, Maarten; Hietanen, Jari K.; Leppänen, Jukka M.; Braun, Marc
Emotion, May 23, 2011, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1037/a0022901


  1. Emotionally expressive faces have shown enhanced detectability over neutral faces, but little is known about the effect of eye gaze on detecting the presence of emotional faces. Emotional expressions and gaze direction are both cues to the intentions of another person, and gaze direction has been shown to affect recognition accuracy and perceived intensity of emotional faces. The current study showed that fearful faces were detected more frequently with an averted gaze than with a direct gaze in an attentional blink task, whereas angry and happy faces were detected more frequently with a direct gaze than with an averted gaze. The results are in line with the shared signal hypothesis and appraisal theory and suggest that selection for awareness was based on a rapid evaluation of the intentions of another person as conveyed by their facial expression and gaze direction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

Happy guys finish last: The impact of emotion expressions on sexual attraction.
Tracy, Jessica L.; Beall, Alec T.
Emotion, May 23, 2011, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1037/a0022902


  1. This research examined the relative sexual attractiveness of individuals showing emotion expressions of happiness, pride, and shame compared with a neutral control. Across two studies using different images and samples ranging broadly in age (total N = 1041), a large gender difference emerged in the sexual attractiveness of happy displays: happiness was the most attractive female emotion expression, and one of the least attractive in males. In contrast, pride showed the reverse pattern; it was the most attractive male expression, and one of the least attractive in women. Shame displays were relatively attractive in both genders, and, among younger adult women viewers, male shame was more attractive than male happiness, and not substantially less than male pride. Effects were largely consistent with evolutionary and socio-cultural-norm accounts. Overall, this research provides the first evidence that distinct emotion expressions have divergent effects on sexual attractiveness, which vary by gender but largely hold across age. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

Compatibility between tones, head movements, and facial expressions.
Horstmann, Gernot; Ansorge, Ulrich
Emotion, May 23, 2011, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1037/a0023468


  1. The study tests the hypothesis of an embodied associative triangle among relative tone pitch (i.e., high or low tones), vertical movement, and facial emotion. In particular, it is tested whether relative pitch automatically activates facial expressions of happiness and anger as well as vertical head movements. Results show robust congruency effects: happiness expressions and upward head tilts are imitated faster when paired with high rather than low tones, while anger expressions and downward head tilts are imitated faster when paired with low rather than high tones. The results add to the growing evidence favoring an embodiment account that emphasizes multimodal representations as the basis of cognition, emotion, and action. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

Seeing yourself helps you see others.
Li, Yuan Hang; Tottenham, Nim
Emotion, May 23, 2011, No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1037/a0023469


  1. It has been proposed that self-face representations are involved in interpreting facial emotions of others. We experimentally primed participants' self-face representations. In Study 1, we assessed eye tracking patterns and performance on a facial emotion discrimination task, and in Study 2, we assessed emotion ratings between self and nonself groups. Results show that experimental priming of self-face representations increases visual exploration of faces, facilitates the speed of facial expression processing, and increases the emotional distance between expressions. These findings suggest that the ability to interpret facial expressions of others is intimately associated with the representations we have of our own faces. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fox Cancels Lie to Me

We all saw it coming.  The first season was a gem, but then it just moved more and more towards another drama. 
It was disappointing to see this happening, just when body language was going mainstream and people were watching it to learn a little about understanding more about people. 

Not to worry, there are a few fiction authors that nail body language as it pertains to their characters and when they release their books, I'll let you know.  Until then we can always watch the first season again on dvd.

If you are too bummed to consider a world without Lie to Me, maybe this will help: Here are a couple of novels staring California Bureau of Investigation agent Kathryn Dance, the California Bureau of Investigation's foremost kinesics -- body language-expert.

These books are written by suspense/mystery writer Jeffery Deaver who has a great track record with bestsellers.

The first in the series:

Then this title:


Sunday, May 8, 2011

So You Want to LOOK at a Woman

Very quickly, you can become creepy pervert, in fact it only takes about three plus seconds.

After three seconds you are no longer in the gray area.

Most  women will notice if someone looks at them for longer that one second and recognize it as some sort of 'interest."

Another thing is to remember to keep the gaze higher than lower, and do not focus on one particular area. Remember the trick to look at the eyes and forehead in a triangular motion.◦

Friday, May 6, 2011

HotSpot in Promo For Tonight's Dateline

Listen to the small clip from the 911 call.  During the 911 call if the person calling is adding items that begin to establish an alibi or deflect the focus from them it is a hotspot.  For more information about 911 calls, I have written about this subject several times in the past and you can use the search box to find the other articles.◦

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Missing Woman, Janet Walters' Body Found

There are certain times when I know certain things about an incident but cannot release information via the website.  I'm occasionally emailed by someone from a news organization, a police department, or an attorney and asked to give a quick look and give them my impressions.  Most often the information I provide is used to formulate next steps and tactics. Living in the Indianapolis area I was very familiar with this case and would not release my comments about this case until her body was found.

Janet L. Walters, 44, was found about 4 p.m. Saturday in the back of her minivan in the employee portion of the Meijer parking lot at Heartland Crossing near Mooresville, Indiana. Walters had been missing since April 14.

Her husband, Gary Walters, was interviewed by several people including  the local media outlets. He made a public plea to help find his wife.  I first examined the footage of the husband on the Saturday before Easter Sunday,  some nine days after she was missing.  There is not a great deal of footage available of the husband's plea online, but you can see part of it by clicking here.

He does not feel the need to add to his plea for the public's help and his emotion is very real. 

He was not hiding anything and had nothing to do with her disappearance, or her death.  

My thoughts and prayers go out to Janet, and Gary and her entire family.

Loose Lips Sink Ships, Bin Laden's Death and Mistakes Currently Being Made By Well Intentioned Americans

[Insert News Organization] has been able to get our hands on an email sent out by [Insert High Ranking Government Official's name] from the [Insert Government Agency] where it says [Insert congrats and then inadvertently reveals a small amount of sensitive information (usually towards the end of the email)].

Living in middle America I SHOULD NOT KNOW the following: 

  • The critical piece of intelligence was developed out of the Asia (not the middle east) region.
  • Intelligence was largely based on one of Bin Laden's couriers, the intelligence was based on a telephone conversation. (Bin Laden used couriers because Time Magazine released (before 9/11) that US intelligence agencies were able to intercept his satellite phone conversations.) Like a movie film,  on the ground agents, satellites, and drones physically watched and tracked the courier.  This was not the only courier or individual associated with this terrorist organization under extremely close watch by the intelligence organizations. There were many people tracked and monitored VERY closely for extended periods of time.
  • The raid was a largely conducted by a group within the Navy Seals known as U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six, an elite team of military personnel trained to conduct the most top secret operations involving combat, anti-terrorism and dangerous rescues. This group is part of another group called the Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DevGru for short. The DevGru unit is part of the Joint Special Operations Command.  They train year round and are never technically deployed to specific regions, they are mission centric. The budget for this group is worth every penny and you'd need one hundred billion plus pennies.
  • The compound where the raid occurred was replicated and the Seal Team trained the raid extensively.  This was one of many compounds intelligence divisions had identified as a hot targets, and these other compounds also were replicated and used for training. These were not Hollywood like replicas.
  • We confirmed a higher level of activity within this compound with the use of drones, this led credibility to what was developed out of intelligence divisions.
  • Intelligence divisions have a complete mappings of the middle eastern region from satellites and a large group of analysts who track changes (construction and activity (even counting vehicles on sites)).  When items become flagged drones are used to get a fuller picture  (because satellites only do fly overs of the region at certain times (several times during the day) during the day).
These things are all things that came to light through rudimentary statement analysis of these emails written and sent the morning after the mission.  The government employees that provided the emails to news agencies did not release them with malicious intent, and in fact, I believe they did it to showcase the kudos their division is receiving from their own leadership- it was a way to celebrate the victory. The individuals did not realize or understand how the release of some of this information actually helps our enemies.

More of my thoughts:
  • This was not the first raid where we hoped to confront Bin Laden.  You only have to look at past raids where top Al Qaeda leadership were killed or captured.
  • Bin Laden would not have been taken alive, and in fact instructed his bodyguards to not allow him to be taken alive. It would not further his cause. This was a mandate of all top leaders in the Al Qaeda organization.
  • Military and intelligence knew the above, and had planned for his burial at sea.
  • Al Qaeda has also planned for the day he would die.  Timing plays a big part of their retaliation.  We must remember Al Qaeda, is and will continue to be patient, the time between attacks are measured in years, not months.  Their terrorist attacks are long term missions that last years  between the final planning stage and the actual attack.  With the date of his death, it has set in motion at least one mission.  
  • We have more to be worried about the lone terrorist in the short term.
  • There will be a video or audio released  from Bin Laden that was made in the event of his death.  I would not expect this to occur in the near future.  The timing will be critical to future intelligence gathering.  
  • Lastly, a Navy Seal can hold their breath and swim under water 300 yards- That is three football fields, minus the end zones.  They are always training and always on the go, they have a saying that goes something like this, "The more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed in war."  They are the best of the best, and stronger and more dedicated then our worst enemies.