Monday, October 6, 2008

Obama's Smile a Secret Weapon?

Found this intriguing interview at CNN with "facial coding expert" Dan Hill, the author of Face Time, who asserts you can scientifically analyze whether or not smiles are genuine. He analyzed the facial expressions of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin. The video's below this para.

Here's a link if you can't see the video.

I was attracted to the facial analysis discussion because I recently wrote a post about John McCain's body language/facial expressions in one of his interviews. McCain shows the signs of a liar.

Speaking of Obama, Hill said the democratic presidential nominee has a genuine smile, one that has that twinkle in the eye, but lately hasn't been using it much. Hill considered that Obama may be smiling less because he's been addressing the financial crisis, a situation that makes smiling often inappropriate.

During Hill's CNN interview, he also talks about the focus group he monitored during the Vice Presidential Debate. The people in his group didn't think Palin was sincere. Too much winking. Hmm. I didn't think she was sincere either, partially for the reason that Hill says Obama may be choosing to smile less. I think Palin smiles too much at inappropriate times, and that strikes me as a kind of insincerity. I explained part of my reasoning in a comment at

The focus group favored Biden more but also thought he came off as chiding too often, according to Hill. He also said that the group didn't talk about Biden's choking up, but that the subtlety of the moment, changes in the speed of Biden's speech, and changes in his voice suggested sincerity.


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