Body Lan­guage Ex­pert: Trump in De­fen­sive Crouch, Hil­lary in Com­mand

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Dur­ing the first 2016 pres­i­den­tial de­bate, Trump's ‘pug­na­cious pouts were fewer, 'the ‘un­cer­tainty shrugs' more nu­mer­ous, says David Givens—and Clin­ton was to­tally in con­trol.

Don­ald Trump may have a su­per-healthy testos­terone level, as his pur­ported med­i­cal stats in­di­cated on Dr. Oz, but in his first-ever de­bate against Hil­lary Clin­ton, she was the more ma­cho can­di­date.

That was the anal­y­sis of Gon­zaga Univer­sity an­thro­pol­o­gist David B. Givens, direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Non­ver­bal Stud­ies in Spokane, Wash­ing­ton, who watched Mon­day's de­bate with­out re­gard for the can­di­dates' words.

“Mr. Trump's or­di­nar­ily con­fi­dent body lan­guage looked oddly de­fen­sive this evening, rather than of­fen­sive, as per his pre­vi­ously bump­tious ap­pear­ances on the me­dia stage,” Givens emailed The Daily Beast af­ter the can­di­dates walked off­stage. “His usu­ally con­fi­dent, ex­pan­sive hand ges­tures, head nods, chin juts, and pug­na­cious pouts were fewer, re­placed by re­ac­tively more timid head shakes, dif­fi­dent lip pouts, and low­ered eye­brows. Or­di­nar­ily of­fen­sive, he was over­all de­fen­sive this time around. Mean­while, Sec. Clin­ton calmly smiled and as­suredly made her po­lit­i­cal points ver­bally clear. Her body showed no re­ac­tiv­ity to Mr. Trump's com­ments; she was to­tally (pres­i­den­tially?) in con­trol.”

Givens, who has been an­a­lyz­ing the non­ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion of politi­cians for the past three decades, ex­plained that “non­ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the process of send­ing and re­ceiv­ing word­less mes­sages by means of fa­cial ex­pres­sions, gaze, ges­tures, pos­tures, and tones of voice. On bal­ance, Clin­ton seems to have won the first de­bate, at least on the non­ver­bal side. This may have been ap­par­ent had you turned off the sound—and just watched.”

Givens added that Trump wasn't all bad.

“Non­ver­bally, at least,” he emailed, “Mr. Trump man­aged to con­trol his anger (red face, slash­ing hand ges­tures, and over­loud voice), but failed to show of­fense as he de­fen­sively shrugged his shoul­ders, gri­maced, and re­peat­edly shook his head in the sec­ond half of his meet­ing with Sec. Hil­lary Clin­ton. While the lat­ter looked con­fi­dent over­all, with her smiles and calm de­meanor, the former def­i­nitely ap­peared stressed, un­com­fort­able, and non­plussed with his vo­cal in­ter­rup­tions, lip com­pres­sions, pursed-mouth ex­pres­sions, and aver­sive tongue shows.”

With the sound off, never mind the sound on, Trump ap­peared to be a hot mess.

“You may have no­ticed Mr. Trump's hy­per­ac­tive body move­ments as Sec. Clin­ton ticked off her de­bate points,” Givens emailed. “These were un­con­trol­lable on his part, purely vis­ceral re­ac­tions, to words he could nei­ther de­fend nor re­spond to with thought­ful re­marks of his own. So in­stead, he re­sponded with fa­cial ex­pres­sions and shoul­der el­e­va­tions—un­cer­tainty shrugs— rather than po­lit­i­cally thought­ful di­a­logue.

“As for her own ver­bal mono­logue, Sec. Clin­ton enun­ci­ated well, and her body-con­fi­dent body lan­guage seem­ingly backed her up.”

Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump.

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