Nonverbal Communication Analysis №3731: The 3rd Presidential Debate — Donald Trump v. Hillary Clinton — Part III — “Such a Nasty Woman” — Body Language and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Earlier this week, during 2016’s third Presidential Debate, each candidate interrupted the other multiple times — yet this is the one you probably will remember ten years from now:
Chris Wallace: Secretary Clinton, same question because at this point Social Security and Medicare are going to run out — the trust funds are going to run out of money. Will you, as president, consider a grand bargain, a deal that includes both tax increases and benefit cuts to try to save both programs?
Hillary Clinton: Well, Chris, I am record as saying we need to put more money into Social Security Trust fund. That’s part of my commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy. My Social Security payroll contribution will go up as will Donald’s assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it, but what we want to do is —
Donald Trump [over-talking]: Such a nasty woman.
Hillary Clinton: Replenish the trust fund by making sure that we have sufficient resources, and that will come from either raising the cap and/or finding other ways to get more money into it…
What follows is a nonverbal snapshot into Mr. Trump’s psyche just prior to — and just after his declaration.
In the image above (captured during 0:19 of the above video), just prior to his “Such a Nasty Woman” statement, Mr. Trump is displaying a classic expression of contempt — with a slight upturn in the left mouth corner, a tightening of his left mustache area and a trace flaring of his left nostril.
An eyelid closure (here bilateral), while not required in this particular contempt expression (for there are other nonverbal varieties for this emotion) is, in this context, a contempt amplifier. This principle also holds true for a partial eyelid closure. Because of it’s very short duration, this is also classified as a microexpression.
Donald Trump’s second expression of contempt — just after his interruption (0:23) — is not as pronounced, however it’s longer in duration.
With the addition of an elevated central forehead contraction, Trump’s expression quickly (0:24) morphs into one of contempt mixed with incredulity.
Please watch the video to more fully appreciate the dynamic and evanescent nature of this nonverbal moment.
This post and the associated website serve as reference sources for the art and science of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts — not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.