The Skeptic's Guide to The Universe

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palin's Body Language Speaks

Since we [the American people] have not been privy to an in depth interview with Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin prior to Tonight's exclusive interview with ABC News's Charlie Gibson, we must take to examining her verbal and none verbal clues. Looking at portions of the interview it is clear that she is ready to give an answer that she fills answers the question. Having worked in journalism and done interviews and covered interviews myself, their are certain clues to pick up and read that are not easy to see across the screen as a viewer.

One thing is the fast response to the questions, While this may appear as confident, it is also a sign of control. She may not know what she is being asked but knows she must say something. Her words are formed in a way to exert control and to convey that the person that she is talking to understands that she means what she says. This can be good but a person with to much self confidence may not be willing to view an issue of problem in its totality.

Compare how she speaks as to how Joe Biden, John McCain and Barok Obama speak when asked a question. The have a short pause for the most part and are somewhat thoughtful about their answer. A technique used in interviews is to ask a question and then give the person all the time they wish to answer it. This is how one finds out information about what the interview is about. People do not like there to be empty space between. If you do not reply, the person will continue to talk until you indicate you have another question. A person that answers to quickly, may view them self as either more knowledgeable than the person asking the question, I would have a hard time accepting that Sarah Palin knows more about Politics than Charlie Gibson, or they are not sure what to say and will just answer what they feels makes the most sense.

Being the Vice President of the United states is not a class that you have to ace in college or a nice way to show you are a person of character. It is a reflection of the character of our country. One should be familiar with the history and the dynamics that makes up our nation.

Moving on the Palin's body language, the way she was using her arms and hands and shoulders indicate that she was trying to convince Charlie Gibson that he should accept her answers because she was saying them. With the hands together pointing at Gibson and her back arched toward Gibson she was trying to use the presence of her body as a way to reenforce her words. This is done often by person's that do not feel they can rely upon their words to make a coherent case for what they have to say and try to use the body to enforce what they are saying.

With Palin's mode of speech and the use of her body language we will continue to see her give fast answers and seem to be dynamic but she is really unsure and unfamiliar with what she is talking about. In my view.

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