Tag Archive for Illustrators

Duping Delight, Eye Contact And Smiling

Unlike this fella, good liars often appear very charismatic and this trait helps carry them through their lies.

Unlike this fella, good liars often appear very charismatic and this trait helps carry them through their lies.

Paul Ekman coined the term “duping delight” to explain possible reasons for an increase in certain cues while lying was taking place. For example, fear and guilt associated with lying should decrease nonverbal cues such as eye contact and smiles, but the research shows us that eye contact usually increases during lying. Ironically, it is the reverse that is commonly thought of by the general public to be true. That is, most people think that eye contact decreases during lying. Two possible explanations exist for an increase in eye contact and smiling. One is that smiling happens more often because the liar is experiencing pleasure with the act of lying which has been extensively proven through research on psychopaths, con-men and pathological liars, the second says that a smile is in fact due to stress and embarrassment which causes a stress smile. An increase in eye contact is also explained in terms of a desire to measure the efficacy of the lie. The liar holds eye contact to watch for signals of disbelief in his counterpart to allow him to calibrate his tactics accordingly. So by this reason, the liar holds eye contact more than truth tellers in order to gauge how well his lie is being pulled over on his victim and to revel in joy as his ploy washes over his victim.

Duping delight means that nearly any signal can be used during a lie to convey honesty, and the greater the pleasure felt by the liar, the more relaxed and honest they will appear. The converse can happen too, the duper can appear more excited and happy throwing a wrench in this signal as universal amongst liars. Signals of duping delight can include higher voice pitch, faster and louder speech, increases in nodding and smiles, and use of more illustrators. Also, the more a lie is being perceived as true, the stronger these signals will be since the excitement of the liar increases in tow. Thus, just because some signals are present, does not necessarily mean that at lie is either present or absent. Although the willful modification of our natural traits often make us appear more or less sincere. For example, a perpetual feigning of friendliness comes across as phony. Incidentally, things like voice pitch, which can be difficult to control amongst all other factors when lying, might go unusually high through anxiousness when the true intent was to appear enthusiastic. It is the difference between a normal interaction and one that is unusually energetic that gives the dupers away.

Echoing And Mirroring Is The Mating Dance

We're both "the captain!"

We’re both “the captain!”

So far in this book we have talked about mirroring in terms of building rapport for business and life in general, but the real excitement comes from mirroring in dating. Mirroring in dating is the original “mating dance.” It is a complete synchrony of gestures and movements that seems carefully choreographed, but isn’t. It is so pervasive that it carries through to synchronous breathing and blinking, tone of voice, inflection and pitch, not to mention more obviously gestures like body position and movements such as affect and illustrators, regulators and standing postures. Mirroring is the mechanism that produces fluid dance which is a precursor to the much more intimate dance that happens between the sheets!

Mirroring isn’t a childish copy-cat game, but it is close. A distinction should be made between mirroring and echoing. Echoing happens when gestures and positions are duplicated some time after they first appear, usually within a matter of seconds. Mirroring is done by immediately taking up the same postures, or if facing one another, its mirror opposite. Picture this next example as if the woman and man are both facing head-on, where the woman is on the left and the man on the right. Here a perfect mirror would happen as the inside, or left foot of the woman is up on the foot rest at a bar, with a drink in her right hand, and her left arm resting on the bar top, the man would have his right foot on the foot rest, his drink in his left hand, and his right arm on the bar top. This is full mirroring. If the man pauses in his dialogue and takes a drink and so too does the woman, they will have again mirrored each other. However, if either one pauses for a second, then follows, they will have echoed each other. Other examples in the same scenario include playing with a glass or adjusting foot positions or gestures or touching the face similarly. When complete synchrony is established which can take from minutes to hours (or not at all), we call this the mating dance. I should note too, that echoing can happen up to a minute later and not all gestures are duplicated exactly. Common ground between two people can be extensive, as it is with twins who have a high degree of agreement, or slight when only small agreement is present, and this is reflected in the strength of the dance.

Testing mirroring can be done by simple observation, that is, by being mindful of any following that is done by your object. However, mirroring can also be sped up and manipulated by allowing gestures to be taken up by your partner, then after some time changing them to measure the speed with which the gestures of your partner follows. This tactic is not much different than what happens on the dance floor. Fast music really tells us if we’re on the same page together, and when “dancing without music”, the same effect is present. The more synchrony there is, the stronger the agreement, and the faster positions are adopted. Men and women can both test this out for themselves and will see that when rapport is strong, couples will hurry to stay on top of the dance through its postures.

Mirroring postures in other people, by following their lead can also test interest. To do this, just take on postures similar to your partner and see if they feel comfortable holding them with you. If they change or adopt new postures quickly or seem agitated, you can be sure that they see the two of you as different and that little or no attraction is present. When people disagree, they do their best to appear different, and this is one of the times our guts give us a visceral reaction. When we don’t like someone we do our best to expose our differences rather than our similarities.

Above: Mirroring is an instant way of building or monitoring the connection people have with one another. Yawning for example is a way that even complete strangers feel compelled to mimic. Mirroring-body language helps us gauge what level of agreement is present between people. In our historical past, mirroring each others gestures served to eliminate aggression between people. We use it today in much the same way. Two strangers won’t initially hold the same gestures or will hold closed body language and postures, but as agreements and opinions are expressed the body will show agreement and common ground. In dating, mirroring plays an even more potent role as couples can groove in almost complete synchrony which we call the matting dance. Mirroring therefore, says “Look at me, I’m the same as you, and we both agree”.

Summary – Chapter 3

In this third chapter we examined and compared the various influences on body language: genetic, learned and cultural. We found that in terms of genetics we all show similar roots and so display similarly across cultures, but that learning does play a role in how we might signal. We also covered emblems, illustrators, affect displays, adaptors and regulators which all form a part of what is called kinesics or how nonverbal behaviour relates to movement. Emblems, we found, are quotable gestures that are culturally specific which can be used as replacement for words and have a direct verbal translation. Illustrators are a second type of gesture that we use while speaking to help us paint a more descriptive picture such as talking about a boxing match and using a punching motion. Affect displays is nonverbal language that reveal our emotional state such as smiling or frowning and adaptors are movements or gestures that are used to manage our feelings or control our responses such as postural changes. Sometimes these adaptors have hidden meaning, but other times they do not, so caution is warranted. Regulators on the other hand control turn taking and flow when people speak with one another. Finally we covered high and low context cultures as it relates to touching and the ways various cultures meet and greet one another.

Regulators, Regulate Speech

Putting the hand up is a way to show others that we wish to speak - particularly in a large group.

Putting the hand up is a way to show others that we wish to speak – particularly in a large group.

The final type of gestures are called regulators because they are used to modulate and maintain the flow of the speech during conversation. Essentially, we use regulators to control turn-taking in conversation and they can take the form of kinesic such as head nods or nonkinesic such as eye movements. Regulators are different across cultures more so than any other element of body language discussed thus far.

In a study by Marjorie Vargas in 1986, it was noted that black students in the United States felt insulted by the white educators. The educators weren’t picking up on cues that the students understood what was being instructed. For example, the white students would nod and murmur “uh-huh” but the black students would nod much less and use “mhm” instead. The teachers took this to mean that the students didn’t fully understand the material, but this wasn’t so, they just expressed their understanding differently.

In Japan, the up and down nod of the head or “yes motion” is utilized not to show ‘agreement’ but to show ‘understanding’. Therefore, while pitching a new idea or venture, it would be foolish to think that the continuous head nodding by the Japanese was do to their willingness to invest. Creating a simple dos and don’ts list is not feasible for these nonverbal kinesics in speech for the simple fact that there are far too many to list and the variation of meaning across culture is so varied. With the simple awareness of emblems, illustrators, affect displays, adaptors and regulators the incidence of misinterpreting their meaning can be reduced.

Caution is therefore important when dealing with international business so as to avoid any harm in interpretation. Some other examples of regulators include putting the hand up to signal that you are ready to speak, putting the finger up to the mouth to bring silence, waiving the hand around in a circle so as to speed things up, rolling of the eyes showing disapproval, a gasp to show shock, throwing the hand to someone to include them in the conversation, or shaking the head disapprovingly. All these gestures control the flow and pattern of speech by directing, disapproving, speeding things up or slowing them down, and even cutting the speaker short.

Using regulators in speech is necessary to create seamless turn-taking and to avoid appearing rude, dominating or frustrating the people you are talking with. It prevents having to interrupt, eases the flow of speech and allows everyone to make the points they wish to make without having to cut each other off mid-sentence. The net effect of a good conversation is connectivity through the creation of seamless turn-taking.

Illustrators: To Colour Language

"Was your fish THIS big?!?"

“Was your fish THIS big?!?”

A second type of gesture, illustrators, are use in cooperation with words to emphasize them. Illustrators do just that, they illustrate the meaning of words. An example of an illustrator is the motion of throwing whilst speaking of tossing a ball or a punching motion to emphasize what happened during a fight. We could describe an trophy fish, as in “It was this long” then spreading the hands apart to show just how long it was. Other examples include, finger pointing, head bobbing, batoning or slapping the hands together. Bill Clinton made the batoning motion famous as he emphasized nearly each word in his denial speech against his involvement with Monica Lewinsky “I did not, have, sexual, relations, with, that, women.” as his arm pumped up and down. Other examples include Adolf Hitler as he gestured his followers into submission and television evangelists who forcefully hammer their words onto others.

The type of illustrators used, vary by culture and also vary in frequency. Latin cultures for example, will use more illustrators than Anglo-Saxon cultures, and they in turn, use more than Asian cultures. In business, the differences between cultures are especially important since Asian cultures might see the use of illustrators as a lack of intelligence if used too frequently and in Latin cultures it might be construed as a lack of interest or involvement to use too few.

Emblems, Illustrators, Affect Displays, Adaptors And Regulators

Gesticulating is the original form of communication between humans.

Gesticulating is the original form of communication between humans.

Gestures are used in speech to convey information more efficiently or to express attitudes or emotions and as a body language reader they give us clues as to the speakers mental framework from which they speak. Beneficial byproducts of gestures include making speech occur more smoothly and increased liking between speakers and listeners. In the following section we will cover “kinesics” which is the subclass of nonverbal body language that is related to movement. Kinesics is probably the most talked about and most common type of body language but also the most easily confused cross-culturally.

The first full length study on gesture was published in 1644 by John Bulwer. He catalogued dozens of gestures and produced a guide on how to increase clarity and eloquence in public speaking. Further research has shown that some gestures are universal and therefore have ubiquitous meaning across cultures, while others only have local meaning. Other gestures are context specific so mean one thing in one place and can mean something entirely different elsewhere. Pointing, made by extending the index finger and balling up the rest of the hand for example, is one of the gestures that has the same meaning everywhere, but the okay-sign made by touching the index finger to the thumb and flaring out the remaining fingers, as we shall see later, does not.

Some cultures also tend to gesture, called “gesticulation” when used in speech, more or less often than others. For example, Italians are known to use a lot of gestures in speech whereas the English tend to use gestures infrequently. The English culture, on the other hand, deems high rates of gesticulation as being impolite. The high gesture cultures include Hebrew, French and Spanish.

The more social way for us to use our hands is to use them in concert with what is being said, although taken to extremes like the Italians, or lack thereof like the English, can be counterproductive. A balance between the two, will be the best case. The hands and arms add to the dialogue and liven it. Keeping your hands to your sides or your arms crossed tightly might be comfortable, but those that use their hands moderately while speaking appear intelligent and honest when viewed by others. Universally, closed posture come off as negative and anti-social no matter what kinds of truths spoken or positive feelings intended by the speaker. This is why it’s so important to be conscious of our gestures because even if we aren’t, others will be. Whether or not others bring closed body language to consciousness, is not relevant. Our impressions are created in others passively with no active thinking.

The various gestures have been broken down into five categories: emblems, illustrators, affect displays, regulators which we cover next.

Introduction – Chapter 3

If you spend time traveling or do business in more than one country then this chapter will prove invaluable. Not all body language happens the same way all over the world. To some this revelation gives them ammunition against body language because they say that since it is not totally universal, it is not innate and therefore not predictive, however this is not so. While some body language crosses culture, other language does not, what is important though, it to know which is which. We will spend the following chapter looking at how body language varies from region to region and hence from culture to culture and you will see that some body language is learned while some innate or genetic.

As we progress we will look at how emblems, illustrators, affect displays, adaptors and regulators add colour to our language and as how to use them. We will also discuss how these facets of body language vary across regions. The two take-away messages from this chapter is that it is the sender that determines the accuracy of the message no matter what the culture, and that it is up to you to decide what it means, and that it is the culture in which we find ourselves which dictates what’s normal. In this context, normal is what tells us how we should comport ourselves. We will see that our innate body language dictates our culture, that some gestures are universal (and some are not) and that touching preferences and desire (or tolerance) to closeness is learned. Finally we will cover the ways in which cultures meet and greet one-another.