How much talking does your body do?

Obama, Romney, debatesThe phrase “body language” or nonverbal communication often gets tossed around. From public speaking to a first date, our movements and facial expressions say a lot about our feelings and intentions. Now, as we enter into political debate season, politicians’ body language will be under just as much scrutiny as their remarks, and if the candidates aren’t careful, they might misspeak without saying a word.

Most researchers conclude that human communication is only 30 to 40 percent verbal and 60 to 70 percent of our interactions are composed of paralinguistic cues, or silent signals we give off unintentionally. Think of it as a speaker or listener’s personal interpretation of what they’re saying or hearing. We can all relate to the experience of yawning when we’re bored or (conversely) making direct eye contact when a conversation interests us, but these movements are just as much a part of the conversation as the words said.   

The study of body language is known as kinesics, a branch of anthropology developed by Ray Birdwhistell in the mid-20th century to de-verbalize human communication. Birdwhistell believed that no movement of the human body is accidental and that all of our gestures, down to the tiniest blink, are subject to a grammar that can be studied and analyzed, much in the same way that we pore over semicolons here at Dictionary.com.

To illustrate a few kinesic touchstones, the most overt sign a person can conjure without making direct physical contact is to cross their arms in front of their chest. This gesture implies that for whatever reason, the person wishes to put a barrier between his or herself and others. Granted, the movement could simply mean that the person’s arms are cold, but there’s a chance it means they feel threatened. Unfocused eyes or tilting of the head can show disinterest or a lack of understanding. Though in situations where people feel comfortable, perhaps when they are among friends or family, tilting of the head can imply trust because it exposes the neck, a comparatively vulnerable part of the body.

In the upcoming debates, President Obama and Governor Romney will be trying to use body language that implies power and confidence. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy emphasizes the importance of expansive postures that show dominance and command by opening the frame. Politicians often hold the sides of the podium when debating, not only to show passion for their argument but to open their shoulders as well. One of the riskiest gestures a debater can make is to touch their face. Unnecessary attention drawn to the face suggests that a person might be lying or withholding information, excessive blinking or an unblinking stare can also have the same effect.

According to Cuddy, the opening handshake between the candidates will set the tone for the presidential debate tonight. Whoever initiates the handshake will subconsciously start the debate in a position of dominance, and it will be up to the candidates to either hold that lead or fight their way back to the front.

Based on what you’ve read here, share your reactions to the Obama-Romney debate. Do you notice body language in your life? What paralinguistic gestures affect you and why?


  1. Random -  December 30, 2012 - 8:44 pm

    This article was great; my dad’s always telling me to make eye contact, not cross my arms, don’t yawn, ect. I’m also getting ready to go on a trip to Japan were body language is much diffrent, but even though they are on the other side of the world I notice their body language is related to ours due to nautral human reactions to the enviorment we do without noticing.

  2. Mark -  December 13, 2012 - 1:53 am

    A liar can build confidence by elevating their situations and esteem, albeit based on false information and mistaken beliefs in other’s minds.
    Thus a Romney can build a profile and attack the confidence of any opposer.
    Scammers do it, and Wrongney is a lying scammer with success at it.
    Not enough to become President, but it got him a long way in life unfortunately

  3. mary -  November 24, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    im happy that obamma won :-)

  4. potatochips74321 -  November 7, 2012 - 2:24 pm

    sigh. you asked for four more years, you got it.at your children and grandchildren’s expense.

  5. Control.F -  November 6, 2012 - 4:35 pm

    So far Ctrl F indicates Romney is written 68 times.. Obama is written 45 times
    Negative comments outweigh positive comments
    What does this suggest?

  6. SHayes -  October 24, 2012 - 11:39 am

    My body language fits my mood, but when I’m depressed or sad I hide by “acting” happy. I don’t like ppl asking me every hour are you ok? what’s wrong? It goes on for about 8-9 hours. And that’s only on a school day. >:0 I eventually tell anyone who opens their mouth to ask to just shut it and walk away. :)
    P.s. sorry for all the comments on the blogs, but being stck on a computer for 3 hours doing school work bores you. lol

  7. Kayla -  October 22, 2012 - 7:40 pm

    Wouldn’t it be cool if we communicated solely through body language? (I mean: shrug, blink, blink, twitch, head tilt) Well, at least, that would be cool if we still had a written language but never spoke.

  8. Alasandi -  October 17, 2012 - 9:34 am

    Great body language tidbits. Different percentages are used than what is commonly associated with communication. Ergo, I would have appreciated a data source or link to more information.

  9. Kyleigh -  October 14, 2012 - 3:14 pm

    You know, Natalie, I hate when people try to correct grammar when it’s right in the first place.
    This is the actual sentence: ‘much in the same way that we pore over semicolons here at Dictionary.com.’
    This is the way you were thinking it should say: ‘much in the same way that we pour over semicolons here at Dictionary.com.’
    The first sentence is correct, see?
    Good day to you, fine madam.

  10. Azam -  October 12, 2012 - 11:36 pm

    I believe It!

  11. Greg Coker -  October 11, 2012 - 9:41 am

    Obama kept looking down as Romney spoke…it was if he didn’t want to be there. Yet, after the debate he cut loose, why? Romney wasn’t around to counter his accusations! Very brave.

  12. Alex Fossa -  October 11, 2012 - 7:15 am

    I had heard these types of statistics before and take a real interest in body language and fascial expressions. I think it’s really interesting how much you can give away about yourself or read in another person without even saying or hearing any words.

    At the moment though I don’t get much human interaction to practise reading body language as I spend most of my days stuck in Reading Data Centre setting up colocation packages for our clients

  13. Joy -  October 11, 2012 - 5:29 am

    Every movement, however slight, speaks through us to others. Our brain, our processor is processing when we are not aware. Most of our movements are patterns learned from childhood. Many of our movements are subconscious and depend on the feelings we are experiencing which in turn will give the people around them information about their present status. We are always changing. Yes, there are some basic understandings about body language but take the person that wrote in about teaching their children to cross their arms for being still, not fidgeting, etc. That is a very smart thing to teach a young child. However, one can see where that child grown up may show the world they do not want you near his/her space.
    It is very important, let me say this again………. it is very important to use all the information our brain receives and make good choices based on what we know, our world model, our experience, etc. We must look at a whole person and that is just not possible in a short time- for instance, watching a debate. Too many factors at work- stress, fatigue,
    can list a hundred more. We have to be careful not to “judge” another based on what we see. We should not judge at all but we do because we are human.
    As a nurse of many years, I have learned to care for the person before me with whole heart, assume they have had many sadnesses and hopefully many joys, and that they just like me, want to be loved and cared for.
    We are all the same. So let us look at body language when we interact with others, hear their voice, their words and make decisions about how we interact with them based on the information we receive and process, but we do not know exactly how that person really feels, so we do the best we can.
    The main thing is not to judge what we see. We just might be wrong.

  14. Ken -  October 9, 2012 - 9:27 am

    I am one who agrees that body language does in fact serve to communicate. Although I’m not a card shark, I am aware that body language is a useful tactic/signal in card games. It is called the “tell” and players who are skilled in avoiding truthfull “tells” on their own part and discerning truthful “tells” on the part of other players enjoy an advantage beyond those who cannot.

  15. Im smart -  October 8, 2012 - 5:21 pm

    THIS is nice to read but where is the game to decode the message.:):(:0

  16. Ronin-Miki Hiyo -  October 8, 2012 - 11:12 am

    Obama looked rather tedious whenever Romney spoke.

  17. Ian Mallett -  October 8, 2012 - 8:00 am


  18. jake -  October 8, 2012 - 6:58 am

    It makes me sick that body language is such an important criterion in electing the president. As the saying goes, “no one ever went broke underestimating the ignorance of the American public.”

  19. Janey -  October 8, 2012 - 4:22 am

    As a Brit, I watch the Obama / Romney debates with interest. Our politicians don’t have quite the same head-to-head confrontation. Yet.

    But you can’t really tell a lot from body language in these circumstances unless one side really gets caught on the back foot and lets his guard down. They are both (we assume) being coached to within an inch of their lives by image consultants who drill them to remember to position their hands / feet / heads etc etc in a certain way to express how they want people to perceive them.

    Body language works well in interviews though. On a one-to-one basis, if you casually mirror the body posture of the person interviewing you (NOT obviously, but in a subtle way), they are more likely to see you as a person they would like to work with.

  20. milon -  October 7, 2012 - 11:29 pm

    I saw that interview ,i kinda noticed their body language and was thinking of its importance later i came across this article very helpful thankyou….

  21. michael -  October 7, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    as romney began his initial remarks, i noticed and called attention to his eyes. they appeared both bloodshot and glassy. my first impression was this guy is tired and sleep-deprived from compaigning and debate prep.
    then he goes on to show both energy and aggression like I had not seen from him before. puzzling. like he was another person – except for that trademark ability to be consistently inconsistent with former versions of himself.
    then the president proceeds to shows himself to be unlike i had seen before. what is up with that?
    altogether a rather weird and, from my not unbiased point of view, disturbing evening. the suspense builds for the second so-called “debate”.

  22. Patricia Winters -  October 6, 2012 - 8:47 am

    Many people do not realize that in Primary (for the little kids) we Latter-day Saints teach our children reverence by having them fold their arms. This helps them to listen and to not fidgit. So, if you see a Mormon with his or her arms folded, it may only mean that he or she is paying attention, and not that “the person wishes to put a barrier between his or herself and others.”

  23. BODY-LANGUAGE | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  October 6, 2012 - 8:27 am

    [...] “Body-Language” as interpreted or studied — What to do? — Contextually Never Understanding observations of the few. — Nor the Body-Language of the writer: — Sitting down or standing up? — Thinking, what was the question? — The situation surrounding the observed and the observers power of suggestion. — The Shoulder touch when done as such. — The Replacement of the Jedi: — Bush had Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove — Thus Bushy only showed a Dead Eye. — What does Bama Lama have to do? — Already on the job. — One term – Six years with a recall option preferred. — And the difficulty choosing for the undereducated US the voter Slob. — Extended commercials deferred. — No time for sergeants or running for office — Nor the Poser — Financed by Corporate subversives. — Presidential is a much different level. — Everyday power of missives and video. –  Keeping in tact the Presidential Presidio. — Body-Language by coaching? — Everything can be learned. — Beware the Manchurian Candidate — Homeland Dramatically burned. — The Corporate Beast — Unregulated Feast — Democracy preserved and earned. –>>L.T.Rhyme [...]

  24. troymo -  October 5, 2012 - 4:15 pm

    Aprilina, Romney never said he was “against” Medicare. I suggest you go back and rewatch the debate. Romney has stated more than once he intends to leave Medicare exactly as it is for anyone 55 and over. What he does intend to change, however incrementally, is the way Medicare is handled for people currently under 55; because at its current growth rate, and in the current economy, Medicare will be bankrupt by the time 90% of the people now 50 – 55 actually start using it.

    He also intends to have more the affluent seniors pay more into the Medicare system as time goes on, thereby reducing government cost for providing the service to those who most need it.

    With all due respect (forgive me if you’re young), but I am amazed at how little some people pay attention =/

  25. Bec -  October 5, 2012 - 12:36 pm

    I watched the Presidential Debate three times. I wanted to really hear what was said and watch how each man handled himself. I have now had a few days to read and listen to all the political analyst, social media, etc.
    I am now ready for the next debate. I have not made up my mind yet. I want to hear all the facts presented by all involved. I am open to both candidate as I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I believe with all I am that the BEST person for our country should to be our next President.

  26. Helen -  October 5, 2012 - 10:12 am

    There is definitely a body language that indicates incongruencies in spoken words and reinforcements of verbalized language. It is fun to watch. Teenagers are the most fun because they tend to be inconsistent unless they are mentally disturbed. Some people are more intuitive and pick up on body language easily. Watch mimes. I had watched the pres. so much I didn’t learn much from the debates, but I did watch Romney more closely. Mitt Romney loves a challenge. He uses his intellect the way athletes compete. Of the two, Mitt Romney was the better debater. By far.

  27. Ray -  October 5, 2012 - 8:12 am

    On the other Click, “Is it feint or faint…” is overtaken, or is it taken-over, by,

    “Is it feints or faints or faience or Fayence or feigns or fanes or -phanes or pheons, or fens, or phenes or fiends or…”

    Good question– just how much talking one’s body does-do, or is it [...];

    “Or is it ones or one’s or wons or won’s,” (‘hm’, that last one stretched a bit).

  28. WicklowWisdom -  October 5, 2012 - 6:10 am

    Romney by a country mile…. Obama is just tired after four years of failure

  29. JustasIam -  October 5, 2012 - 5:13 am

    Sharon, I noticed what you did about Romney’s eyes. He appears to be, on some level, in a perpetual state of shock. It is like he is a kid that never grew up all the way and is looking for approval. I do not think that he is his own man and whatever the GOP tells him to do, or his church, he will do. As far as Obama is concerned, I believed he looked bored and disinterested. Who knows what may be going on that we have yet to learn of? I wished he had called Romney out on his lies. I don’t get it. The man says one thing in front of a television audience and crowd and the exact opposite behind closed doors when he is with his kind of people. Behind doors, he laughs and mocks the everyday working man. Yet, some of these people are willing to put him in the most powerful position in the world. He ran a company that contributed to ruining the lives of thousands and thousand of people and yet these folks are willing to put him in charge of running their country. He does not respect or care about your futures and if you or your children don’t manage to get rich like he is, he thinks you are flawed individuals and deserve whatever bad luck comes your way. I don’t get it. Have these folks been possessed or something? I bet that last line is the only one they will choose to focus on in my post.

  30. whei -  October 5, 2012 - 2:22 am


  31. Kevin -  October 4, 2012 - 11:02 pm

    Wow everyone, stop using these gestures to justify your candidate. Obama is for education and told the truth during his entire debate. Romney contradicted his own beliefs and lied about almost every issue so that the average American would vote for him. Obama is the one who stood his ground through his beliefs.

  32. Catie -  October 4, 2012 - 5:43 pm

    Obama hasn’t given up…he was looking at Romney when he was speaking. -.- And by the way, he DID look at the camera–when he was ‘talking to the American people’.

  33. Rita.G. -  October 4, 2012 - 4:55 pm

    Well, Folks it was just that a great performance that’s all! Just a show for us citizens, Pres.Obama feels he needs to prove nothing to Mr. Rommey and really he doesn’t. All I know is that we the “middle class” The 1 % are losing are shorts! The rich get richer and we get poorer and that is a fact! So all I can say is I don’t care who looked at what when, I would like for one of them to give my husband his job back or find him a new one! Also, NO more taxes please!

  34. No body -  October 4, 2012 - 4:32 pm

    Romney is a “people” speaker.

  35. Aprilina -  October 4, 2012 - 3:58 pm

    I am for Obama all the way. I noticed that during the debate, Romney kept switching his opinions around. For e.g. he mentioned doing away with Medicare, and minutes later he said he supported Medicare and wanted to keep it. The president can also relate to the needs of the people more efficiently then Romney can because he wasn’t also wealthy. Romney is a buisnessman that can’t compare to small buinesses like a alterations store on the corner of the street.
    Romney was also way to aggressive, he kept cutting off Jim Lehrer when it was time to change subjects. Romney knew that he was losing the debate. In order to get his “points” across after he heard Obama speak he felt he needed to be rude.
    I may only be a teen, but Ive experienced a lot. The only person that I feel is fit for this Presidency is Obama.

  36. Poh -  October 4, 2012 - 3:51 pm

    Romney did excessively blink…..And he did keep lying….
    THE only reason he looked “calm and confident” was because he was very comfortable defending himself when he lied. His plan was to make Obama feel defeated so he would weaken Romney got this by cheating.

  37. luvmonkey -  October 4, 2012 - 3:44 pm

    This one time, I was at the top of some stairs arguing with an angry roommmate and was sure that when I turned my back, she was going to do something. I turned my back anyways and she tried to push me down the stairs. I wonder if it was instinct or if I was just subconsiously reacting to her body language.

  38. shawn -  October 4, 2012 - 2:27 pm

    @Cassi – “The President didn’t look bored to me. He seemed respectful to wait his turn and give Romney his full attention.”

    I agree. Every time Romney would interrupt because he wanted to talk, I got annoyed. It took me out of the debate and gave me the distinct impression that Romney was trying too hard to gain respect. It was like he wanted to show everyone his new trick. While I think Romney made some good points he was over eager in trying to deliver the “death blow”, as if he felt he could win the presidency with one swift stroke and made himself look immature and not ready to be president.

  39. troymo -  October 4, 2012 - 2:25 pm

    Bettye, how could Obama have better things to do than make his case for why he should be President,…. I mean if we’re to believe anything else he’s said up till now?

    Certainly having other things to do didn’t stop his antics along the campaign trail.

    People can make all the excuses for Obama they want but none of it matters; he had other things on his mind, he was unpracticed, body language differs between cultures, it was the altitude, he wanted to appear sympathetic, too much Xanex.

    When it’s time to be President, it’s time to be President!

    Obama had no trouble remaining fully engaged and being more effective as he faced McCain in 08′. But unlike then, he now faces his record, and a much greater competitor.

    Romney is a better debater than McCain ever was. And, I wonder if the notion for Obama that his policies are a proven quantity made it much harder for him in this debate. I think this, and living by Axelrod’s philosophies may have just caught up with him; because, unlike 08’ Obama doesn’t even believe it himself.

    Suddenly last night, Obama had to rise above it all. He knew his policies could rightfully be challenged and saw Romney articulating this. He knew Axelrod had crafted him another “shameful campaign” and it made him uncomfortable.

    He’s a smart guy; he knew he was getting beat. But let’s be honest, he did this to himself….

    Obama needs to refocus, get to the core of his beliefs, and once again find the truth in his message. Maybe then he’ll believe it himself. Either way he looked uncomfortable last night. Something tells me he’ll have fixed that before October 16th.

  40. N1ckster -  October 4, 2012 - 1:59 pm

    The most overt sign a person can conjure without making direct physical contact is NOT to cross their arms in front of their chest: it is to RUN AWAY.
    And that’s what I’m doing with this half-baked, poorly-directed, incomplete pop-analysis.
    What junk …

  41. Lily -  October 4, 2012 - 1:58 pm

    Did anyone notice how Romney looked so relaxed and calm, and Obama kept looking to the left, especially at the end? I was looking, and not once did he EVER look straight into the camera. Romney did it the whole time. Obama’s given up already! :D

  42. SoccerMom -  October 4, 2012 - 1:57 pm

    Romney was over eager and kept a condescending smirk on his face while Obama was talking. I don’t trust people who do that.

  43. Cody -  October 4, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    Mitt Romney all the way get Obama the Republicans are moving in

  44. Catie -  October 4, 2012 - 1:16 pm

    Well, obama was looking down probably just because he was writing down a lot of notes. And about the $5 trillion cut, obama was right; Romney was saying that for the past 18 months, and just changed it right then.

  45. Steve In Chicago -  October 4, 2012 - 1:10 pm

    Several writers pointed out that politicians are coached on “proper” body language, as the article mentioned. However, these events are very stressful, and the participants have many things to remember, so they might unintentionally reveal more than they intend. Does anybody remember when GHW Bush debated Clinton in 1992, and looked at his watch? What a dramatic “tell!” The ability to distinguish intentional gestures from unconscious ones takes a great deal of training.

  46. Sharon -  October 4, 2012 - 11:52 am

    One more time- if we are electing a president on body language, I think it was hard to say who came out ahead, if either one. I did notice that the president’s head was down at times, but it seemed more out of frustration and chomping at the bit, wanting to put Romney down. He must have made a conscious decision not to do that.

    If we are electing a president on substance, then Obama was way ahead, primarily because once again Romney did not give us specifics, and he lied. The truth checking was done before the debate was even over and there was clear indication that he had lied on several issues.

    I would have to go back and check, and I really don’t want to watch it again, but I am pretty sure that he took credit for the Massachusetts education system being number 1 in the U.S. Well, I taught in Massachusetts for many years beginning in the 70′s and it was number 1 for as long as I was teaching there, so he is essentially lying if he is taking credit for that.

    He also said that he balanced the budget in Massachusetts without raising taxes. That is true, but only technically, or I should say, semantically. He did not raise TAXES, but he did raise FEES dramatically. You can argue if those fees were really taxes, but it doesn’t really matter. His nickname in Massachusetts at that time was Governor FIFI!

  47. Sharon -  October 4, 2012 - 11:42 am

    After the debate I described Romney as looking like a simp. The folks around me had no idea what that word means!

    Romney’s eyes looked weird – oddly bright and staring. He also had a continuous half-smile, smirk on his face. I have watched him in many primaries and at stump speeches and I had never had the reaction to him before that I really did not want to look at him. Did anyone else notice these factors?

  48. Bettye -  October 4, 2012 - 10:48 am

    I am very much affected by facial, and hand expressions. Obama walked on to the stage — body displaying exactness in posture, hand extended, one hundred per cent radiating to us the utmost in in telligence. No brain storming for answers — calm and well prepared — as a result of knowledge and experiences in the performance of elements in the position of President of the United States. Tightness shown in his face –expecially the closed tightness of his lips — signaled — to me that the debate was a waste of his time. Nevertheless, he was going along with the American program. I felt that he was asking the viewers questions — as an example — why am I even involved in this circus — I have better things to do.

  49. Ron G. -  October 4, 2012 - 10:48 am

    I observed Obama with his head facing down in a defeated posture. Most likely he was upset about the thought of moving back to Chicago in the winter.

  50. Grace -  October 4, 2012 - 10:45 am

    He also seemed uncormfortable, while Romney seems content and perfectly fine being there. I really couldn’t see Obama’s face because he kept looking down…..

  51. DrRon -  October 4, 2012 - 10:44 am

    I wonder about how the same body language would be viewed by Republicans vs. Democrats if e.g. Romney were not recognized, but his movements were abstracted. Then I wonder how the same body language might be viewed differently by how this abstraction was “skinned” e.g. white vs. black. I should look for existing psychology research on this (tell me if you know of experiments). I’d like to know who has tested the hypothesis of the same body language being interpreted as strong and authoritative for white skin, vs. uppity for black skin.

    As a non-Republican the same body language that Republicans seemed to like about Romney, I found to be arrogant and the result of being over privileged. I thought Romney was really rude to Jim Lehrer, but I suppose Republicans saw this as a strength of Romney.

    The final judgement seems to be as much related to the “eye of the beholder” as to any objective assessment of how each candidate performed.

  52. Grace -  October 4, 2012 - 10:43 am

    It was VERY clear Romney won. He was confident, but not too much to seem proud, while Obama looks down, around, everywhere but Romney which i find kind of rude….. He looked spacey like he wasnt paying attention at all. I’m not saying this because i like Romney, vecause everyone knows it’s true. Romney said the right things while not being a people-pleaser (sounds like someone….). and why did Obama keep saying Romney had a 5 trillion debt when CLEARLY he kept saying he didn’t. I think he could tell he was losing and was trying to mak Romney look bad…

  53. Rae -  October 4, 2012 - 10:22 am

    Nice article. Yes, I do notice people’s body language when they talk and I can easily make out when a person is being dishonest. Since I manage a team it does come in handy too.

  54. Cassi -  October 4, 2012 - 10:17 am

    To me, Romney looked spastic. Later, people called it aggressive or powerful. I didn’t see it that way. He reminded me of a child that can’t hold still at Christmas, impatient for his turn respond and therefore, no longer listening to his opponent. The President didn’t look bored to me. He seemed respectful to wait his turn and give Romney his full attention.

  55. Tim -  October 4, 2012 - 9:58 am

    I watched the debates and their was a clear winner linguistically and kinesthetically. That winner is Mitt Romney. Romney seemed comfortable, stern and confident. Obama blinked excessively, looked down most of the time, and appeared frustrated. Although what I think Obama did well, something Romney should have done, was that he at times stared directly at the cameras as if he were speaking directly to the people. Overall a good debate, but the clear winner was Romney.

  56. Lanlady214 -  October 4, 2012 - 9:55 am

    Mitt Romney is not telling where his 5 trillion dollar cuts are. He did say that there would be more in the areas of savings (savings accounts)… who has money to save?

    If I heard correctly, he is talking about saving money through stock market investments? Body language. Mitt looked more like an accuser than a USA Lead Representative.

  57. Ania -  October 4, 2012 - 9:08 am

    Don’t get this article

  58. bholland -  October 4, 2012 - 8:37 am

    Everything you do sends a message: the style of your clothes, the color and cut of your hair, wearing iPod earplugs – each of these things sends a message to the world. Be aware that the message you send may NOT be the one you intended to be sensed.

  59. Manish Suryapalam -  October 4, 2012 - 8:13 am


  60. Manish Suryapalam -  October 4, 2012 - 8:07 am

    I really like the effort you put into this page, but I do not like that part about my comment being done too quickly. Sometimes making a comment doesn’t take that much time. Don’t do that next time.

  61. troymo -  October 4, 2012 - 8:02 am

    I was thinking about this last night during the debate. And, while I do lean Romney for sure I tried to be impartial and take in each performance.

    That said I found Romney much more “commanding” throughout the event. And, I would not say he was overbearing, rather he leaned into each exchange while maintaining much better eye contact than did the President.

  62. JJ -  October 4, 2012 - 7:53 am

    Obama nodded a lot and I mean a lot (yes, aggreement nods) when Romney made certain statement. He was basicalyl saying that he adreed with him.

    Romney’s voice was affirmative in pitch, raised but not raised to sound bombastic, but to convey conviction (whether you agree with them or not) on many of his points and what he believes. Humans/listeners respect someone who is true to their convictions, no matter if they/speakers/covictions go against what the listener believes.

    Obama was lo-key, almost monotone. This could have a tactic for debates round two, that is to come…

  63. Larry Shelton -  October 4, 2012 - 7:39 am

    Don’t you think that the handlers of these two know all of this stuff and will have advised each accordingly. This is like watching two monkeys that have been trained by people who think they know all the answers. Which one of them took the training the best. Good grief, look at the people, look at what and how they say things. Do you think that any amount of handlers could teach Warren Buffet what it feels like to be broke and without a job? They could teach him to act like it, that’s why Reagan was considered such a good pres, he already knew how to act. Sorry folks, this is just another way to spend money and convince people that they are involved.

  64. Justin -  October 4, 2012 - 7:29 am

    When Governor Romney was addressing President Obama, I noticed President Obama continue to look down and avoid eye contact with the Governor. Also, when debating healthcare, President Obama seemed almost annoyed with Governor Romney; he cast off-stage glances when the Governor’s views clashed with his own.

  65. Kristin -  October 4, 2012 - 7:04 am

    Regardless of my partisan preference or political persuasion, I must say that Romney’s body language was far more self-assured and confident.

  66. G.D.Pandey -  October 4, 2012 - 5:12 am

    Body language is the first communiciation men learned from from their enviornment. Still it is the body languages that saves an weakest against the strongest. Man got the lession to revolt against the powerful
    one through the body language & still it remains as the most powerful assets they posess.

  67. Joe -  October 4, 2012 - 4:10 am

    Very interesting. Closed eyes and head hanging down along with snoring, also shows disinterest.

  68. Eric -  October 4, 2012 - 3:36 am

    it’s interesting that how your body language speaks so much about you, although it’s non verbal. And it’s really of use, as through it you come to know a lot about the person you meet– if they’re liar, or flirty or anything. And it’s just not over here. It’s needed in your professional life. And there are famous dances completely about this body language, like mime.

  69. Yashvir Singh -  October 3, 2012 - 10:19 pm

    Yes, body language plays an important role, i mean it is the 1st step to great speech, presentation. To not let, audience distract.

  70. js -  October 3, 2012 - 10:01 pm

    This article is very similar to that band … what’s the name of it? Oh yeah… “GARBAGE!”

  71. Etchasketchy -  October 3, 2012 - 9:49 pm

    Pausing the debate periodically to attend to parental duties, inadvertently allowed for better observation of facial features. At these pauses, Obama had pursed lips and narrowed eyes. He appeared to be controlling his impatience and discomfort. In contrast, Romney’s face seemed open, sincere and engaged. Try it for yourself if you recorded the debate. Calling this one for Romney.

  72. anonymous -  October 3, 2012 - 8:33 pm

    i’m the first one to comment! go obama!!!!!

  73. slicer1234 -  October 3, 2012 - 8:19 pm


  74. Eric -  October 3, 2012 - 8:02 pm

    Oh yes, I do consciously take notice people’s body language sometimes. Such as if I see someone leaning against a wall with one of their knees stuck forward (forming a triangle) and headphones on, I know that person absolutely does not want social contact right now. I also try to modulate my own body language, such as kneeling down to talk to someone that’s sitting, thereby putting my face in the same height as theirs, rather than talking to them from up above.

  75. Allie -  October 3, 2012 - 7:35 pm

    Whoa that is so cool. very deep analysis

  76. Anna -  October 3, 2012 - 7:00 pm

    Very informative article! Will remember to do so!

  77. Eliza -  October 3, 2012 - 7:00 pm

    I don’t like to make eye contact with people, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested, it means I don’t like to make eye contact with people!

  78. Eyewitness -  October 3, 2012 - 6:52 pm

    In a world society where the inhabitants feel, perhaps justifiably, less and less in control of their lives and futures, this kind of pop analytics crop up. The market for this is largely the reassurance market, an almost inexhaustible supply of consumers who will try anything, but especially behavioral “sciences” that allow them to feel they have gained a competitive advantage in an unceasing, and largely unwinnable, contest for personal social dominance over whatever circumstances prevail in that invidividual’s life.

    I do not suggest that any of this is strictly “false,” but I also emphatically dispute the absolute “truth” of it. Are people really as consistent as this would imply–well, yes, probably WITHIN THE SAME SOCIAL MiLIEU. The reason I add the emphasis in capitalization (apart from the absence of an underline feature on this message board) is because there is a self-same importance to that behavioral consistency. Is is within that milieu, where societal norms are predictable, that any given individual would be in competiton for resources.

    Let me make the point in a gruesome way. Does one know when a violent crime is about to take place because the perpetrator looks A) indifferent (to consequences) or B) enraged C) focussed (because a prey has been sighted … etc. Probably another violent criminal could read that, because they are peers in a common language. That does not mean that appearance of indifferenc, rage, focus, etc have the same value across of societyal microcosms. Do the candidates on-camera behavior bespeak hidden truth. If we really want the hidden truth, why not interview their respective media coaches? Oh, I forgot…we’re not supposed to look in that direction. Bad form and all that. Right. Hey, “experts” have a product to sell. Right you are if you think you are especially if you can get someone else to buy your product. So much for social “Science.”

  79. ss -  October 3, 2012 - 5:49 pm


  80. George Lane -  October 3, 2012 - 4:44 pm

    It doesn’t make any different what body language they uses, that could be an act, its only who’s telling the truth! George.

  81. Natalie -  October 3, 2012 - 4:30 pm

    I’m a little embarrassed to see that you at Dictionary.com “pour” over semicolons (third paragraph), unless your editors are made of liquid. In general, I love these blog posts, but I would expect a linguistic Web site such as this to differentiate between “pour” and “pore.”

    Thank you for the interesting post.

  82. NIchole -  October 3, 2012 - 4:24 pm

    I really enjoyed this piece it was enjoyable not too factual not too fictional so it was grreat.

  83. Anjini -  October 3, 2012 - 3:36 pm

    Wow. I cant wait to yell at the T.V. tonight!!

  84. Adela -  October 3, 2012 - 3:22 pm

    Omg I wanna see this! I hope Obama wins the election! Four more years! Four more years! :P


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required):

Related articles

Back to Top