Body Language is the Vice Presidential Debates. Here is Why Kamala Harris is Smiling and Shaking Her Head by Body Language Expert Patti Wood
Here is why Harris's is smiling during in the debates when Pence interrupts, goes over time and makes false statements.
I said in my pre-debate interviews to watch for her smiles. It's fascinating that she is using smiles to respond to Pence when he is giving false information. Smiling and shaking her head and in disbelief are the softest ways for her to respond. For those viewers who were expecting her to look angry, they are seeing her maintain her calm. As the debates have gone
Research shows that we love candidates with a broad emotional range. We love someone who laughs and smiles big and warmly. We tend to like to know what someone is really feeling, and 4.3 times the message's impact is sent nonverbally. We remember what people say when they express it with true emotion.
I was asked about what is described by others as Pences "Stoniness." Pence baseline doesn't show a lot of changes based on any particular topic. He simply doesn't have much emotion. He rarely smiles and if he does it is not a full smile that goes up through his face, lifts his cheeks and crinkles around the eyes into a Duchenne smile and never brings his voice above a restrained, bedtime story rough whisper, and his lack of "Affect", (facial expressions) or at most minimalist facial expressions, can make viewers feel uncomfortable or it can make them feel soothed. But in either case, research on persuasion and retention say a lack of emotion also means people will have a hard time remembering what he actually said.
Harris and Pence are both smirking tonight.
Harris is doing a good job of showing vocal and facial variation. She is particularly potent when she tells stories of loss. Her voice became so deeply tender and emotional as she speaks to the mother her lost her son. She doesn't rush through. She shows and sounds the emotion of loss and grief. .
When Pence got to the Braina Taylor story he rushed through the story of loss and actually did bring up his voice as he talked about the rioting and looting. He showed real anger towards the looting and rioting and destruction of property. I believed him in that moment. I keep a chart of nonverbal behaviors as I analyze the debates and this section got a triple check. His voice became louder and stronger and he moved forward. It was the most emotion he showed so far in the debates.
Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.