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DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-65-2010-911-436-459-EN – ISSN 1138 - 5820 – RLCS # 65 – 2010

 

Analysis of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s nonverbal communication

Imelda Rodríguez-Escanciano, Ph.D. [C.V.] Professor at the Miguel de Cervantes European University
irodriguez@uemc.es

María Hernández-Herrarte, Ph.D. [C.V.] Professor at the Miguel de Cervantes European University
mhernandez@uemc.es

Abstract: Aware of television’s high level of persuasion and impact, politicians have progressively adapted their messages to the guidelines of the audiovisual media in order to strongly persuade TV viewers, which are seen as potential voters. Currently, the communication, marketing and telegenicity teams of most political parties do not only train their politicians to effectively use verbal communication, but they also try to reinforce their non-verbal communications skills, because they understand that a really effective message is only created through the correct combination of both dimensions. This article presents an in-depth study of the nonverbal communication displayed by the Prime Minister of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, during the first quarter of 2010 when a political topic predominated in the agenda: the financial crisis. Through content analysis, and a self-developed methodology, the study aims to decipher the strategic meaning of this political leader’s kinesic behaviour in the second edition of Telediario, the news programme broadcast by Spain’s Public TV Network (Televisión Española, aka, TVE).

Key words: television; electronic leader; show; nonverbal communication; politics; Zapatero.

Summary: 1. Introduction. 1.1. Research objectives. 1.2. Research problem: importance and current situation. 1.3. Hypothesis. 2. Topic justification: theoretical basis. 2.1. New strategic guidelines of political messages. 2.2. The spectacularisation of political content on television. 2.3. Nonverbal language in political personalisation. 3. Methodology. 3.1. Content analysis: analysis of frequency and ANOVA. 4. Results and conclusions. 5. Bibliography. 6. Notes.

Translated by Mª Isabel Mansilla-Blanco (Miguel de Cervantes European University)
Supervised by Cruz Alberto Martínez-Arcos (University of London)

1. Introduction

1.1. Research Objectives

Aiming to achieve absolute persuasion and being aware of the hegemony of image in society, in the 21st century political communication has increasingly used communicative dynamics and strategies from commercial advertising and marketing. Political leaders are frequently trained by their party’s teams to adequate their message and image to the standards of the media’s show, especially television’s, and thus managing to impact and dazzle the TV viewers, who are considered the potential voters. In this way, this research addresses a subject that has only been briefly explored from a scientific approach: the nonverbal communication used in electoral and political communication strategies.

The main objective is to thoroughly examine the nonverbal language used by a particular political leader, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the current Prime Minister of Spain, in order to determine the extent to what his nonverbal communication is properly adjusted to the verbal communication he expresses in his TV appearances, and the persuasive meaning he may develop throughout his kinesic behaviour, which is the category that provides more information about the attitudes and emotional states of the speaker, which in this case is the political leader under study.

This research also tries to discover which nonverbal value stands out the most in Rodríguez Zapatero’s kinesic language. Here, aggressiveness has been taken as a reference value because the attitude that normally accompanies it is clearly distinguishable from other attitudes that are more similar among themselves such as nervousness, fear or disgust. The objective of this analysis is to check whether the Prime Minister repeatedly and constantly shows a gestural language associated to aggressive movements (e.g. head tilted backwards, fierce look, frowning, angry face, pointing index finger, fist on the air, both fists on display, illustrating hand gestures, menacing index finger, and harsh movements) when talking about the financial crisis (which from a journalistic point of view is a recurring topic in the period analysed).

The secondary objectives of this research are to show the relevance and relation of the three main elements in political communication, television, verbal communication and non-verbal communication; and of the two concepts derived from these three elements: spectacularisation and personalisation of politics as activating elements of the persuasion of the message transmitted by the political speaker studied in this research: José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

1.2. Research problem: importance and current situation

There is a relevant literature on the development of nonverbal communication, from the perspective of behavioural sciences. However, the application of the nonverbal language in the political sphere, and the relevance it may acquire to configure the global image and communicative capacity of a political leader, have not been thoroughly addressed.

Therefore, this research tries to give a strategic and persuasive meaning to kinetics, one of the most relevant spheres of the nonverbal language for a politician. In other words, the study gives each of the analysable elements in kinetic communications (which have already been defined by the behavioural sciences), a persuasive meaning that allow the in-depth analysis and description of the message transmitted by a political leader’s face, head, back, chest, arms, hands and finger movements and gestures. Besides, we will be able to detect whether there is coherence between the verbal and nonverbal messages, and to conclude whether the subject under analysis is able to project effectiveness in the transmission of his message.

The innovation of this research lies in its methodology and analysis tools, which can be used for the examination of another political speaker. This methodology will allow the decoding of the communicative messages, discovering the strategic elements activated by the non-verbal language, identifying the persuasive process developed, and establishing the informative and objective capacity of the received message (a really important aspect in the political sphere, especially in the political campaigns).

The analysis tool proposed in this study, which has already been used in previous research and provided relevant results at a scientific level, will allow us to deepen in the study of the strategic effectiveness of nonverbal communication displayed by people (like political leaders) with the objective of detecting the essential constitutive elements of their kinesic communication and translating their persuasive meaning. The kinesic analysis performed here is not a field profusely developed by other researchers, therefore, the model and the tool presented here could be useful to measure the degree of persuasion of nonverbal communication, and the correct adjustment between verbal and nonverbal messages.

Thus, the novelty of this research allows us to transform gestural variables, displayed consciously and unconsciously by the subject, into persuasive codes that may support or hinder the public message emitted by a political leader, especially the message adjusted to television’s audiovisual language. The model of analysis presented here may be useful to communication scholars who wish to deepen and analyse the meaning of non-verbal communication, because the method and the tool of analysis present the value associated to each gesture (positive, negative, or neutral) and indicate how to measure their degree of relevance in the communicative act performed.

1.3. Hypothesis

Under the premise of knowing and analysing the typology of the kinesic behaviour displayed by the Prime Minister of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, in a key political period (from January to March 2010) when the Spanish presidency of the European Union just began, the socialist government was in the middle of its legislature, and Spain was immersed in a serious economic crisis, the present research proposes three hypotheses:

  1. Rodríguez Zapatero’s nonverbal communication presents distortions in the execution of both languages, verbal and nonverbal, i.e. sometimes his nonverbal communication denies or contradicts what he affirms verbally.

  1. The nonverbal communication of the Prime Minister is stressed or modified according to the topics addressed, i.e. Rodríguez Zapatero uses differentiated nonverbal languages when he speaks about the economic crisis, terrorism or the European Union.

  1. The Prime Minister maintains a more aggressive or tense nonverbal communication when dealing with topics that are particularly concerning for the Spanish public opinion, like the economic crisis.

2. Topic Justification: theoretical basis

2.1. New strategic guidelines of political messages

The political activity is currently subdued to the theories of commercial marketing, image strategies and the persuasive capacity of television, and all of it is to the detriment of the ideological value that is transmitted in political messages. Without the persuasive and media value, the political leader risks not getting the acceptance and credibility he aims to get from the voters. This relevance is optimized by the features of television, which is one of the most influential media in Spain, as it is able to reach four million viewers through prime-time political programmes about, for instance, electoral debates.

In Spain the weight of political information on television still surpasses the importance of information in other sources that are actively used and are gradually acquiring more prominence in social realm, like the Internet. As recent studies on the impact of political information (Pérez-Martínez, 2009) indicate, the cyber media and political communication constitute a strongly-linked duo, and for this reason the political parties’ consultant teams have to adapt their messages to an increasingly strong and decisive medium.

Television continues to be the medium chosen by the political class to sell their political proposals and postulates. Therefore, political leaders’ image consultant teams are particularly concerned with finding the keys to persuasion in the candidate’s TV appearances, and work to effectively adjust the discourses of such leaders to the media’s own guidelines. The power of television has prompted the emergence of the concept of electronic leader, which refers to a politician able to adjust his message to television’s formal guidelines to convince and persuade the public opinion.

The political candidate should know how to adapt his discourse to television, skilfully knowing and interpreting the medium in order to connect with the voters who principally value the emotions evoked in the political messages, and use those emotions to form attitudes towards the political leader that sent those messages. In this regard, in a newspaper article Javier Redondo [1], a professor of Political Science, valued the spectacularity to which the political activity is currently subjected and emphasised the weight of emotions on political argumentation:

“Video-politics is just an advanced form of propaganda ingrained in a new conception of politics: media democracy, which privileges the spectacularisation of politics and gives the media seducer the category of leader-presenter. The communicative abilities and telegenicity are imposed over the classical attributes that a political leader should have -sense of State, abilities, and moral honesty. This leads to a new form of political moral: the media moral, linked to aesthetical moral. In short, video-politics is nothing more than politics reduced to the emotive power of the image and the marginalisation of the logos”.

This preponderance of form over content shows the tendency to the spectacularisation of the political activity to which contemporary political leaders are subjected. A spectacularisation that finds on television the perfect tool to catch the electorate’s attention, seducing them with the form in which the message is presented, i.e. with the wrapping, which not always coincides with the transmission of a coherent and contextualized message. This submission of the essence of the political message to television, and a constant search for sending a shocking and believable message, fuels the relevance of the concept of political telegenicity (Santiago, 2007: 57):

“Telegenicity is not only formed by a good political image seasoned with good words, nice manners, measured gestures, paused gestures, brief interventions, lack of nervousness and natural behaviours but it is also complemented by the proper use of clothing, make-up and microphone, and by the control of some technical equipment which is essential in television and requires a special attention because of the effects and consequences it may produce”.

In this way non-verbal communication developed by political leaders in their TV appearances are transformed in a major reference for the transmission of the desired effect, and it is reinforced by their image and telegenicity consultant teams in electoral periods.

Political parties’ communication and marketing teams are aware of the importance that the permanent dissemination of information about the political leader on television has for the promotion of the political leader, and that is the reason why they establish a careful control of the information that is disseminated (Casero, 2009):

The practices of political control of TV information affect the signifying dimension of the journalistic hierarchisation. In those cases, the political actors aim to control the meanings transmitted by their activities and their image that television presents. Political actors focus their energy on transmitting the content of their messages, in full and without alterations, to the public. This mode of control consequently provokes a reduction of the journalistic mediation, which becomes strongly restricted and obstructed by the practices of political actors”.

In some cases, as for example in the electoral debate broadcast in Spain during the 2008 general elections, this obsession for the control of information reached important extremes (Soengas, 2009).

The preparations for the debate put in evidence the press’ weakness in comparison to the politicians’ power, and the easiness with which parties manipulate the media. In the context of organization, journalists were marginalized and played a passive role in all the process. First, as it has been already said, they allowed Zapatero and Rajoy to design a custom-made debate to discuss only the topics that were beneficial to both of them, and the press obeyed all these dictates, and ignored a clear case of usurpation of competences. The PSOE and the PP agreed upon every little detail so that nothing was left to chance, and any of the freedom margins offered by the format were minimal”.

The contents of political messages, and mainly electoral ones, have suffered a progressive “Americanisation”, as they apply the persuasive guidelines of political marketing designed in North American and show the success of their application (Arregui, 2009: 25-26):

“When we talk about political marketing within the context of a liberal democracy we are referring to the application of methods from marketing research and commercial advertising to electoral campaigns […]. Political propaganda is just another piece of the political marketing, the result of previous studies on the different public groups existing in the electorate, which gives meaning to the motivational and ideological elements that are considered more adequate to get the electorate’s support, especially from the uncertain voters. The “how” of the political marketing is the political propaganda and the “how” of electoral marketing is the electoral propaganda”.

2.2. The spectacularisation of political content on television

Currently, political communication and electoral communication are both subjected to the formal and conceptual guidelines of television because it is a medium massively consumed by viewers and because it has the possibility of formulating and wrapping up political messages in other formulas of audiovisual communication, like spectacularisation, which stop receivers from creating perceptive barriers in the assimilation of such political messages. The political leaders that are unable to become electronic leaders, i.e. that are not be able to reproduce their ideas using television’s codes, will not be noticed by the public opinion and, in this media inexistence, the political relevance of their messages and personalities will decrease exponentially.

Based on the premise that television has become an essential medium to favour the configuration and transmission of a political leader’s message, it is relevant to detail which are the key concepts that allow us to determine the current concept of TV effectiveness. First of all, we have to mention the concept of spectacularity, because in the past few years it has been the transversal dimension of television programming, especially of mainstream television. The shocking images and messages that are included, for instance, in news programmes allow the flourishing of the superfluous and the loss of depth and contextualisation in political news and contents.

The exaggeration of audiovisual elements diminishes the reflective and analytic capacity of the information presented. In this way, the anecdotal aspects of the image influence much more than the contents presented because the average TV viewer has not got enough tools or training to perform a critical decoding of the message presented by television. This is the reason why political information passes through a personalization filter, i.e. a filter that creates news that are centred on political leaders instead of specific topics, and that are rich in anecdotal details to the detriment of a correct contextualization of the information presented.

Going back to the considerations made by experts on TV information (Cebrián, 2003: 172-175), it is relevant to note that television is not an appropriate medium for the presentation of logical discourses and argumentations. For this reason, political and electoral information, strategically designed by political parties’ specialist teams, is transformed into a commercial product that has to be sold, following the guidelines of advertising and political marketing, with the aim of persuading and hypnotising the public opinion and making sure the public opinion does not determine the veracity of the message presented. The television is also a medium that demands a continuous expositive clarity to avoid an excessive decoding effort from the viewers.

This tendency towards the simplification of messages has invaded the political and electoral information presented in various TV programmes where this content is treated: news programmes, debates, magazines shows, among others. This simplification avoids the logic argumentation and does not allow the viewer to decide and reflect on the ideas or data presented, because the impact of the image is stronger in this medium, which gives priority to the audiovisual perception.

As Cebrián points out, this spectacularisation generates the birth of a new information genre: the “docudrama”, which is based in the constant search of the latest news. In this way we can see how spectacularity presented in genres such as reality TV pollutes the information genres where the exposition and analysis of political and electoral information is commonly performed, transforming the candidates or political leaders into protagonists of a show where the conflictive and extraordinary events predominate because nowadays only these elements are newsworthy.

In this Machiavellian dynamic the media place themselves as the main referent of information for the public opinion, although sometimes instead of informing the media only provide sensationalist entertainment contents disguised as factual information. The media design the political agenda and determine which candidates or leaders are more relevant, because their permanent appearance in the agenda of selected topics to configure the day’s playlist determines so.

The change in orientation of the political strategy is a shared reality, as Castells states (2009:153):

“Since people’s minds are constructed through their experience, political advertising and political campaigning aim to connect specific images with specific experiences to activate or deactivate the metaphors that are likely to motivate support for a given political actor. Citizens make decisions by managing conflicts (often unconscious) between their emotional condition (how they feel) and their cognitive condition (what they know). Emotional politics is but one dimension of affective intelligence, the reflective act of selecting the best option for our reflexive being”.

From this premise, the leaders execute the adjustment to the audiovisual medium and the obsession of the political parties’ cabinets with building a media leader is triggered. An electronic leader who permanently hypnotizes the public opinion by using that filter of the image that assures him he will not be unnoticed.

This redundant activation of the spectacularisation, towards sensationalism, in the transmission of television political contents means a significant risk: disinformation. The constant use and abuse of the spectacular, in the form (use of shots and angles that emphasize the protagonists or objects with excess) and contents (selection of information that favours speculation and the superfluous) provokes the creation of a biased message, filtered by impact, scarcely reasoned upon and likely to cause disorientation in the viewer.

The trend towards spectacularisation hinders the creation of objective information and the responsibility of the media in forming the public opinion, because it limits the mission of the media and especially television to the purposes of entertainment, to which the political information is also currently subjected.

2.3. Nonverbal language in political personalisation

The personalisation of politics is a constant in the television’s political news. Politicians become protagonists, heroes of stories that are narrated, and sometimes exaggerated, following the fiction codes in order to catch the attention and loyalty of the viewers, who may become potential voters of a party, especially the undecided segment of the population.

Thus, the importance of nonverbal communication in the transmission of a political message may be justified through the progressive relevance that the political leader’s figure has achieved as the main manager of his/her party’s identity. TV viewers with less education and critical capacity receive the political information through television, not having, most times, the capacity to distinguish the spectacular codes used in the transmission of the news, and evaluating the political reality through the impressions received from the message expressed by a specific political leader.

The success of the political message lies, currently, in the personalisation of the sender’s codes and in the massive use of television to take advantage of its impact. Thus, nonverbal communication, strategically presented by the politician on television, supports and enhances the meaning of personalisation in current politics always through the spectacularisation of information. For this reason, political leaders are trained to control the factors that determine the correct performance of their non-verbal language, with the aim of seducing and dominating the viewers’ emotions.

There is an agreement among the consulted researchers about the relevance of image consultants in the configuration of a subject’s persuasive identity. This is how these professionals behave (Fanjul, 2008):

Apart from teaching and training people in the work of transmitting a specific image and attitude in their public appearances, they take special care of the non-verbal communication of the elements that surround these appearances and anything related to the person or the company they work for”.

There are so many definitions and interpretations of the concept of non-verbal communication as there are definitions of the very concept of communication. A fundamental key to adequately interpret non-verbal language is not to dissociate it from the verbal language, as both are part of a communicative context that creates a unique message. The relationship or difference that may exist between both dimensions can become an object of study to trace the existing persuasion, articulated in a natural way or intentionally with some intention, in the communicative manifestation of an individual, which in the present research is a political leader.

Nonverbal communication, widely studied by disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, psychiatry or linguistics, can be defined through the following conceptual lines (Cabana, 2008: 21):

“Nonverbal communication is a silent, spontaneous, sincere and direct form of interaction. It shows the truth of the words spoken as all our gestures are reflections of our instinctive reflection of our reactions which take part of our attitude through the constant sending of continuous body messages. In this way, our flesh wrapping reveals in a transparent way our real drives, emotions and feelings. Several of our gestures become a way of silent declaration which has as a goal to show our real intention through our attitudes”.

The impact of nonverbal codes in the impression received from individuals is crucial, especially if the individuals, as it occasionally happens with political leaders, want to add a high emotional value to their message (Pérez de las Heras, 2009: 98):

“Theoretically, a person forms an image of another person in seven seconds, and for that reason the first moments on a stage are key to producing a good impression. And for that it is fundamental to be aware of the non-verbal language…, that is, gestures […]. In a communication emotionally charged, gestures account for 55% of the information transmitted. It is a different language that the persons uses without knowing it completely and that if the person cannot control it, the subconscious takes control”.

For this reason, political candidates are regularly trained, especially those with less natural attitudes to develop an efficient communication, into being able to control their non-verbal language so that they are not betrayed by their subconscious, which may constitute a communicative barrier or distort their verbal communication.

The categories of non-verbal communication may be revealed through the following fields: body and face movement or kinesic behaviour (body gestures, postures and manners); proxemics (individual’s perception of space); paralanguage (non-verbal vocal signals); physical appearance (non-verbal signs that remain imperturbable like the body form or clothing) and the environment (elements that take part in the interaction but without being a direct part of it: furniture, architectural style, etc.) (Knapp, 1995: 17). As this North American author warns, this typology of non-verbal signs is the result of the analysis and compilation of non-verbal categories that have been pointed out by several authors, and have been concentrated into five general variables.

The first category is kinesics or body movement. Knapp states that the body movement or the kinesic behaviour includes all related to gestures, body movements including extremities, hands, head, feet and legs, facial expressions (smile and eye movement), posture and manners. All these elements have a meeting point, which is movement, and for this reason all the dynamic aspects of interaction would be part of this first category.

The second variable is physical appearance. Knapp includes within this category all the things that remain imperturbable during interaction. They are non-verbal but immobile signs like the physique, the body form, the physical attraction, body odours, and aspects such as height, hair type and colour, skin and eyes.

The third category is paralanguage. The author indicates that paralanguage is related to the way of saying things and not what is said; it is related to the non-verbal vocal signals that show up when we talk.

The fourth variable is proxemics: this is the individual’s perception of his/her social and personal space, and also includes the study of the small group’s ecology, a discipline that analyses the way people use and answer to space relationships in formal or informal groups. Furthermore, this discipline also examines the personal spatial orientation in the context of conversational distance, and its variations, and territoriality.

The final category is the environment factors: the author says that this category, as opposed to the previous ones, does not involve the speakers because it includes all the elements that take part in the interaction but without being a direct part of it: furniture, architectural style, interior decoration, lighting, fragrances, colours, room temperature, music, additional noise, etc.

From these five variables, the present research selected the kinesic behaviour as the main factor because it is the most noticeable and relevant in the nonverbal language of a political leader in his or her appearances on television, in this case, on a news programme.

The disciplines of communication psychology point out that between 50% and 70% of all the information received comes from non-verbal signals, whether consciously or unconsciously articulated. As Pont (2008: 31 y 50) points out, within this communicative process there is a set of basic signals, characteristic of the non-verbal language:

“Body image is understood as the mental representation of our body, the body’s conscience, the tri-dimensional image that we all have of ourselves […]. Facial expressions, eye contact, voice features, the sense of touch, muscle tone, quality and style of body movements, and attitude are all the basic elements of body language […]. Physical appearance and clothing are part of the total non-verbal stimuli that influence interpersonal responses and that in some occasions are the main determinants of these responses”.

On the other hand, North American researcher Albert Mehrabian (1968) wondered what percentage of meaning was obtained from verbal and non-verbal behaviours when an interpersonal communication was established. The result of his research, in which USA students took part, proposed an equation that revealed that 55% of communication meaning came from the body messages, 38% from paralanguage, and the remaining 7% from words.

An interpretation of gestures may unravel the codes of the real message of a speaker. Given that the aggressiveness displayed by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is one of the codes of analysis for his non-verbal communication in this research, different researchers, like Collett (2008: 119, 121), have categorized gestures related to offense, i.e. aggressiveness:

When politicians are not defending themselves against an attack, they are normally attacking somebody else. Sometimes, their aggressive motivations can be seen in the gestures of their hands; other times, they become explicit in their verbal insults. When politicians feel belligerent, they use one of the five aggressive tactics that exist. Each of them is associated to a different group of hand positions: hit, threat, grab, scratch and sentence”.

3. Methodology

3.1. Content analysis: analysis of frequency and ANOVA

The methodology used in this research is content analysis, a suitable technique for the study of the kinesic language used by public characters in the media due to the possibilities it offers to identify the structure and components of the media message. This technique allows the systematisation of non-verbal symbols that are more representative in relation to their behaviour and the theme of their discourse. Besides, it may be used to detect the strategic and persuasive nonverbal communication of the political leader in an audiovisual media context. Content analysis is more effective in this context because television is the main reference for the political parties’ communication consultants when they have to strategically prepare the appearances of their political leaders, trusting in the impact and notoriousness of this medium.

The analysis card used for the statistical analysis and the subsequent report is an extract of the matrix card, designed by the authors and successfully applied in previous investigations [2], which obtained relevant results on the strategic and communicative value of the different political leaders in television environments.

This analysis card presents a group of categories of the kinesic behaviour where facial gestures stand out (head, way of looking, eyebrows, mouth gestures, and facial emotions), as they are movements that transmit many emotional states, feelings and attitudes; the other big category selected was body gestures (shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, chest, back), because they are greatly used in the expressiveness of a large part of the discourse of the Spanish Prime Minister during his public appearances. Finally, the data of the movements of Rodriguez Zapatero will be processed. Moreover, a valuation of the leader’s physical appearance will be performed as a permanent feature of his nonverbal communication.

This analysis tool also includes the analytical execution of the different categories to which a positive, negative or neutral value is added according to the strategic meaning each of them may have to the effective building of political leadership, which allows calculating the degree of repetition of the element in order to evaluate its real effectiveness.

We have taken as analysis sample the public appearances of the Spanish Prime Minister in the second edition of Telediario, the news programme of Televisión Española, aka TVE (Spain’s Public Television Network). Telediario is one of the news programmes with the highest audience ratings in Spain (it reaches around 20% of the audience share), and takes the lead among other informative programming in many days of the analysed time period, according to the 2008 and 2009 audience reports of TNS-Sofres Media Audience [3], and the 2010 audience data from GuíaTv.com [4]. The second edition of Telediario is broadcast in prime-time schedule, at 21:00 hours. The news programmes was examined during the first quarter of 2010 because during this period the Spanish presidency of the EU started, and the topic of economic crisis was in one of its highest points, from a journalistic perspective.

A total of 90 editions were taken as the total population. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero appeared in 35 of them, but in several of these editions there were some news about the socialist leader. In total the study examined 48 news pieces, which accounts for 53.3% of the total population examined.

The goal was, thus, to establish a comparison of the Prime Minister’s nonverbal behaviour in relation to the thematic discourse abovementioned in order to confirm the hypothesis that proposes that Rodríguez Zapatero presents a higher degree of aggressiveness and tension when he talks about topics related to the present economic crisis.

A news programme was selected as a source TV format because from all the television programming this type of programmes have an important weight for the audience due to the credibility which viewers associated to this genre (Pestano, 2008):

Within the business area, news programmes have a special consideration from inside and outwards the news company because they are identified with the part of the image that the company wishes to project of itself, corresponding to complex dimensions that are not always clarified, like its business relationship to an ideological line, a type of editorial politics, professionalism, technical capacity or, the most volatile, service to society”.

Regarding the categorization, the kinesic behaviour was broken down into the categories and subcategories presented below in the content analysis card [5], providing a persuasive meaning to the element valued from the positive, negative or neutral point of view, and also calculating the degree of repetition of each component analysed in scales that indicate repetition categories that range from null, low, medium or high, in order to be able to distinguish the constitutive elements of the non-verbal language of the political subject analysed (the complete content analysis card appears in the Appendix 1).

The kinesic movements observed during the debates were statistically analysed through a codification binary system of presence-absence in which numerical values (1, 2, 3, etc.) represent presence and 0 means absence. The quantification is based on univariate descriptive statistics (frequencies and percentages). Thus, the number of frequencies in percentages was obtained by observing the number of times that the same value of a variable was repeated. We worked with percentages because this eases the comparison of results in relation to the topic of the discourse and the drawing of conclusions.

This analysis was performed with the computer software Excel, which allows the graphic representation of results and facilitates their interpretation. On the other hand, in order to confirm the results we also performed an analysis of variance (aka, ANOVA), using the computer programme Statgraphics. This type of statistical operation is used to verify the hypothesis of equality of averages and, more specifically in the case we are studying, to see whether the average of different situations of a dependent variable (in this case the number of times Rodríguez Zapatero made movements associated to an aggressive attitude) significantly differ from each other in comparison to an independent variable (in this case the discursive topic: national politics, international politics, economy, society and culture).

The reliable percentages are established based on the following values of p:

p<0.01: significantly reliable percentage at 99%
p<0.05: significantly reliable percentage at 95%.
p<0.10: significantly reliable percentage at 90%.

These percentages show then that if in the topic of economic crisis we obtained an aggressiveness index with a value lower than 0.01, 0.05 or 0.10 (also with a varying margin of trust) but not in the rest of the topics it would prove that the Prime Minister does show an heterogeneous behaviour in contrast to the homogeneity of the rest of variables, which would prove the hypothesis proposed by this study.

4. Results and conclusions

First of all, let’s see the frequency analysis obtained across the discursive thematic topics and afterwards we will see the variation analysis (ANOVA). Please note that in the graphs and tables, “Economy” refers to economic activities in general, whereas “Crisis” refers to the economic/financial crisis in particular.

FREQUENCY ANALYSIS
DISCOURSIVE ANALYSIS

GRAPH 1 [6]

1

HEAD MOVEMENTS

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

Crisis

Affirmation

33.33

37.50

29.41

0.00

0

36.6

Negation

0.00

0.00

5.88

33.33

0

4.55

Face turned away

0.00

6.25

5.88

0.00

0

0.00

Upright Head

66.67

18.75

23.53

33.33

100

22.73

Head tilted backwards

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

4.55

Head tilted to one side

0.00

6.25

0.00

0.00

0

4.55

Head looking down

0.00

25.00

11.76

33.33

0

18.18

Shoulder shrug

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

Hands clasped behind head

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

Head tilted to both sides

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

Stroking chin

0.00

6.25

23.53

0.00

0

9.09

Head rested on hand/fingers

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

As it can be observed, the highest values correspond to the upright head, the Prime Minister’s predominant position. Moreover, the Prime Minister nodded more times when he talked about topics related to international politics (37.5%) and the economic crisis (36.6%). In the discourses over this latter topic the positions upright head and head tilted backwards stood out (4.5%).

GRAPH 2

2

WAYS OF LOOKING

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

Crisis

Looking down

21.43

11.11

22.22

0

0.00

11.76

Looking up

0.00

5.56

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Scrutinizing/searching look

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Side look

7.14

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Firm and honest look

64.29

83.33

66.67

100

100.00

76.47

Fierce look

7.14

0.00

11.11

0

0.00

11.76

Avoiding look

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Looking out of the corner of the eye

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Surprise look

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Half-closed eyes

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Sparkling eyes

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Unfocused eyes

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Of all the types of looks, the firm and honest look predominated with the highest values in all the topics analysed. Besides, the fierce look stood out when the topic was the economic crisis (11.7%).

GRAPH 3

3

TYPES OF SMILE

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

Crisis

Authentic smile

50.00

63.16

50

0

40

25

Horrified smile

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

0

Disdaining smile

0.00

10.53

0

0

40

12.5

Shy smile

16.67

10.53

50

0

20

37.5

Sad smile

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

6.25

Sadistic or cruel smile

0.00

5.26

0

0

0

0

Chaplinesque smile

0.00

5.26

0

0

0

0

Fake smile

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

6.25

Tense smile

33.33

0.00

0

0

0

12.5

Crooked smile

0.00

5.26

0

0

0

0

Open mouth smile

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

0

In contrast with what happened with the look, Rodríguez Zapatero uses a great variety of smiles depending on the type of discourse. The shy smile was the most common in speeches related to social topics (death penalty, abortion, working women’s day, poverty and family) (50%) and in crisis (37.5%). Similarly, the authentic smile was exploited by the socialist leader in most cases although at a lesser extent when talking about the crisis (25%), when the sad and false smiles were displayed in 6.25% of cases. Finally, it is important to mention that the tense smile was present in 33.3% of the cases in which he dealt with national politics (terrorism, the situation of judge Baltasar Garzón, homage to the members of the Security forces deceased in 2009, etc.) and in 12.5% of topics related to the economic crisis.

GRAPH 4

4

FACIAL EMOTIONS

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

Crisis

Happiness

23.53

37.04

46.15

0

42.86

6.25

Sadness

11.76

3.70

0.00

0

0.00

0

Anger

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

18.75

Disgust

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

Surprise

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

Fear

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

Neutrality

47.06

59.26

53.85

100

42.86

68.75

Concern

11.76

0.00

0.00

0

14.29

6.25

Tranquillity

5.88

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

Regarding the facial emotions, it is important to note that the Prime Minister seemed happier and angrier (18.75%) and with a more neutral face (68.7%) when he talked about the crisis. However, his preoccupation was more evident when he talked about economy -14.2%- (employment and pensions), national politics -11.7%- (terrorism, Judge Garzón’s possible suspension, etc.) and economic and financial crisis (6.2%).

GRAPH 5

5

ARMS MOVEMENTS

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

Crisis

Arms down

16.67

7.69

0

0

0

0.00

Arms up

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

Open arms

0.00

53.85

50

0

0

63.64

Arms down with fists

50.00

7.69

0

0

50

9.09

Arms crossed on chest

0.00

7.69

0

0

0

9.09

Reinforced arms crossing

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

Hugging with both arms

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

Arms crossed with thumbs up

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

Arms crossed symmetrically

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

Hands clasped on the front

33.33

15.38

50

0

50

0.00

Arms crossed disguisedly

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

Rubbing hands

0.00

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

Touch the shirt’s cuff or tie

0.00

7.69

0

0

0

18.18

As the graph shows, Zapatero exhibited a variety of arms movements, among which the open arms position stood out in speeches about the crisis (63.6%), International politics (European Union, meeting of the liberal leaders in London, kidnapping of the Spanish aid workers in Mauritania, the disaster in Haiti, and taking part in the African summit) (53.8%) and social topics (50%). When he talked about crisis, he crossed his arms over the chest the most (9%), and also arranged his shirt’s cuff quite often (18.1%).

GRAPH 6

6

HANDS MOVEMENTS

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

Crisis

Open palm up

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

8.33

9.52

Open palm down

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

8.33

4.76

Hand with pointing finger

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

One fist up

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Both fists displayed

12.50

4.55

8.33

0

16.67

0.00

Clasped hands

29.17

40.91

16.67

0

25.00

23.81

Steepling fingers

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

4.76

Hands clasped behind back

12.50

9.09

25.00

0

0.00

0.00

Hand holding wrist

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Hand holding arm

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

8.33

0.00

Thumbs up

0.00

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

The Ok hand gesture

4.17

9.09

8.33

0

0.00

23.81

Covering mouth with hand

4.17

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

Hands touching other parts of the body, clothing or objects.

37.50

36.36

41.67

100

33.33

33.33

During the three months analysed in this study, the hands movements were not very common but they were varied. The open palms up stood when the Prime Minister talked about crisis (9.5%) just like the OK gesture (23.8%). Meanwhile, other movements such as fists were more common in speeches associated to economic and social politics. Clasped hands and Hands touching other parts of the body, clothing, or objects (like a pen or pieces of paper) appeared with similar frequencies in the six topics.

GRAPH 7

7

ILLUSTRATING GESTURES

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

Crisis

Oscillating and pacing fingers or hands

66.67

76.92

40.00

50

80.00

45.00

Pointing fingers or hands

16.67

15.38

0.00

50

0.00

25.00

Descriptive hands

16.67

7.69

20.00

0

20.00

20.00

Steepling fingers

0.00

0.00

40.00

0

0.00

10.00

The most common illustrating gestures are oscillating and pacing fingers or hands, which were used in all topics although with lower frequency in crisis (25%). The pointing and descriptive gestures were similarly common in all speeches, whereas the steepling fingers were used in 49% of topics related to society but only in 10% of topics related to the crisis.

GRAPH 8

8

FINGERS MOVEMENTS

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

Crisis

Thumb(s) up

0

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

Oscillating index finger

0

0.00

0

100

0

0.00

Threatening index finger

0

0.00

0

0

0

25.00

OK (ring) gesture

0

100.00

0

0

0

75.00

Victory sign

0

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

The most significant fingers movements were the menacing forefinger (which was used in 25% of the time when the Prime Minister talked about crisis) and the OK gesture (he used it every time he talked about culture and 75% of the time he talked about crisis).

GRAPH 9

9

CHEST MOVEMENTS

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

Crisis

Self-representation

0

100.00

100

0

0

100.00

Self-embrace

0

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

Hand on the chest

0

0.00

0

0

0

0.00

The Prime Minister displayed a chest movement of the self-representation when he talked about crisis but not in speeches about the other topics. This gesture that is related to the acceptance of responsibility was displayed a total of eight times.

GRAPH 10

10

OVERALL MOVEMENTS

National

International

Society

Culture

Economy

E. Crisis

Harsh/ aggressive movements

0.00

0.00

0

0

14.29

21.43

Nervous movements

7.14

7.14

10

0

14.29

7.14

Calm movements

21.43

35.71

50

50

14.29

28.57

Firm confident movements

71.43

57.14

40

50

57.14

42.86

Rodríguez Zapatero seemed more aggressive when he talked about the economic crisis (21.4%) although not particularly nervous (7.14%) and less firm than when he talked about national politics (71.4%), international politics and economics -except in the topic of crisis - (57.1%) and culture (reception at Goya prizes 2010 and the presentation of the Arts Medal to the European museums that protected the Spanish heritage during the Civil War) (50%).

GRAPH 11

CLOTHING

 

Navy-blue suit

5

Black suit

12

Dark-grey suit

15

Jeans

4

GRAPH 12

12

SHIRT

 

White

25

Light grey

6

Blue

2

Without jacket

1

With stripes

1

GRAPH 13

13

TIE

 

Blue

14

Maroon

10

Black with white spots

4

Without tie

1

Purple

1

GRAPH 14

14

ACCESSORIES

 

Wedding ring

9

Pin of the European Union

3

Cuff links

4

Watch

1

Regarding the appearance displayed by Rodríguez Zapatero, it is remarkable how correctly adjusted he was to the presidential image, in other words, most of the times he wore a dark coloured suit with a tie, which is a formal dressing which transmits authority and credibility. Regarding the tie colours, the most common were blue and maroon, which transmit credibility and, in the case of maroon, a reference to the political centre (because it is placed in the middle of the combination of the two chromatic ranges that symbolically allude to the two opposed political parties: red and blue).

Regarding the accessories, his wedding ring was used in many of his appearances, which is an aspect that transmits stability and appreciation of family values. Only in few occasions he used cuff links, which are accessories that place the subject in a higher socio-economic sphere and may reduce the identification with the average TV viewer.

ALYSIS OF VARIANCE (ANOVA)

DISCOURSIVE TOPICS

15

Value of p=0.015.

Source: Authors’ creation

As it can be observed in the analysis of variance, the data confirm the frequency analysis previously described, since there is a degree of aggressiveness in the speeches addressing the economic crisis (=p) of 0.015 and under 0.05, which offered a margin of confidence of 95%. These results allow us to affirm that the Prime Minister of Spain shows a heterogeneous behaviour that is much more aggressive when he talks publicly about the economic crisis than when he talks about the other five topics (national, international, economics, society and culture).

Based on the research results, we present the following conclusions:

  1. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero showed a distinguished non-verbal behaviour (with a higher load of aggressiveness) when addressing topics related to the financial and economic crisis in comparison to the other five topics presented in TVE’s news programmes: national politics, international politics, economy, society and culture.

  2. Regarding the way of looking, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero displayed a fierce look (which denotes aggressiveness and anger) more times when he talked about the economic crisis, something that did not happen in speeches about social politics (Working women’s day, abortion, death penalty, fight against poverty, or family), culture (reception at the Goya prizes 2010 and presentation of the medal to the European museums that preserved Spanish Heritage during the Civil War),economy in general (employment and pensions),national politics (terrorism, possible suspension of judge Garzón, Rodríguez Zapatero’s succession, etc.) or international politics (the earthquake in Haiti, Spain’s EU presidency, the African Summit or the kidnapping of several aid workers in Mauritania).

  3. In terms of mouth gestures, when talking about the crisis in front of TVE’s cameras, Zapatero frequently displayed a shy smile (which dissimulate the lack of positive feelings) and a tense smile (which camouflages the truth). It is important to note that the latter type of smile was also frequently displayed when talking about national politics news.

  4. Emotionally speaking, the socialist leader appeared less happy when dealing with topics related to the crisis, and angrier, neutral and worried, above all, when talking about national politics, economy, and thirdly, the crisis.

  5. Regarding the body movements, the Prime Minister’s fingers were used remarkably different in the speeches about the crisis in comparison to the other topics. In fact, the menacing index finger (an aggressive gesture which is normally used by politicians as a symbolic stick with which they punish their enemies during hostile arguments) appeared more times when he talked about the economic recession. Moreover, he also used the OK gesture (which is a centred and reflexive attitude) more times when talking about international politics and crisis.

  6. In general, the analysis shows that in discourses dealing with the economic crisis there was a higher rate of aggressive movements, although he did not seem particularly nervous, and fewer attitudes of confidence than when he talked about other topics (national and international politics, economy in general and culture).

  7. It is important to note, however, that in terms of head and hands movements, Rodríguez Zapatero did not express differentiated behavioural patterns when dealing with the crisis and the rest of topics in his public appearances.

  8. The analysis of variance verified all the results obtained with the analysis of frequency. The data indicate that a heterogeneous behaviour was displayed when dealing within the crisis, and a homogeneous behaviour when addressing the other five topics (the reference value of crisis is 0.015, which is way below 0.05 which is the maximum value for the data to have 95% of reliability).

5. Bibliography

Arregui, J. A. (2009): Por el cambio. 30 años de propaganda política en España (For the change. 30 years of political propaganda in Spain). Sevilla: Comunicación Social.

Casero, A. (2009): “El control político de la información periodística” ("The political control of journalistic information"), in RLCS, Revista Latina de Comunicación Social 64, pp. 354 to 366, La Laguna (Tenerife): University of La Laguna, retrieved on 2 April 2010, from:
http://www.revistalatinacs.org/09/art/29_828_47_ULEPICC_08/Andreu_Casero.html
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-64-2009-828-354-366 / CrossRed link

Cebrián Herreros, M. (2003):Información televisiva. Mediciones, contenidos, expresión y programación (Televisual information.Measurements, contents, expression and programming).Madrid: Síntesis.

Barnés, J. S. (2007): El candidato ante los medios: telegenicity e imagen política (The candidate in the media: telegenicity and political image). Madrid: Fragua.

Cabana, G. (2008): ¡Cuidado! Tus gestos te traicionan (Be careful! Your gestures betray you). Barcelona: Editorial Sirio.

Castells, M. (2009): Communication Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cisneros Espinosa, J. (2006): “El debate político como patrimonio público” ("The political debate as public patrimony"), in RLCS, Revista Latina de Comunicación Social 61, La Laguna (Tenerife): University of La Laguna, retrieved on 6 March 2010, from:http://www.ull.es/publicaciones/latina/200602cisneros.htm

Collet, P. (2008): El lenguaje sin palabras. Cómo interpretar los gestos (Language without words.How to interpret gestures). Barcelona: Ediciones Robin Book.

Fanjul Peyró, C. (2008): “La importancia de la comunicación no verbal en la configuración de la imagen corporativa” ("Importance of non-verbal communication in the coonfiguration of the corporate image"), in Icono 14. Revista de Comunicación y NuevasTecnologías 11 (Journal of communication and new technologies), Madrid, retrieved on 1 March 2010, from: http://www.icono14.net

Knapp, M. L. (1995): La comunicación no verbal. El cuerpo y el entorno (Non-verbal communication.The body and the environment). Barcelona: Paidós Comunicación.

Mehrabian, A. (1968): “Significance of posture and position in the communication of attitude and status relationships”, Psychological Bulletin 71, Washington, May, p. 363.

Pérez de las Heras, M. (2009): El secreto de Obama. Descubra las claves de su oratoria y conozca al presidente de EEUU (Obama’ssecret. Discover the keys of his oratory and get to know the President of the USA). Madrid: Bubok Publishing.

Pérez Martínez, V. (2009): "Multimedialidad e interactividad en la coberturainformativa de las elecciones presidenciales de los Estados Unidos de 2008 en los cibermedios españoles” ("Multimedia and interactivity in the news coverage of the 2008 US presidential elections in the Spanish cybermedia"), in RLCS, Revista Latina de Comunicación Social 64, pp. 161 to 175, La Laguna (Tenerife): University of La Laguna, retrieved on 24 April 2010, from:http://www.revistalatinacs.org/09/art/15_814_09_Obama/Victor_Perez_Martinez.html
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-64-2009-814-161-175 / CrossRed link

Pestano Rodrígez, J. (2008): "Tendencias actuales en la estructura y contenidos de los informativos de televisión" ("Current trends in the structure and content of television news programmes"), in RLCS, Revista Latina de Comunicación Social 63, pp. 453 to 462, La Laguna (Tenerife): University of La Laguna, retrieved on 12 January 2010, from:http://www.revistalatinacs.org/08/38_795_60_TV/Jose_Pestano_Rodriguez.html
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-63-2008-795-453-462 / CrossRed link

Pont, T. (2008): Comunicación no verbal (Non-verbal communication). Barcelona: Editorial UOC.

Soengas, X. (2009): “Los límites de la información en los debates pactados” ("The limits of information in the negotiated debates”), in RLCS, Revista Latina de Comunicación Social 64, pp. 988 to 999, La Laguna (Tenerife): University of La Laguna, retrieved on 19 April 2010, from:
http://www.revistalatinacs.org/09/art/875_Santiago/76_132_Soengas.html
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-64-2009-875-988-999  / CrossRed link

6.Notes

[1] Redondo, J. (2008): “La videopolítica contra la razón democrática” ("Video-politics against democratic reason"), in diario El Mundo, Madrid, February. Page 2.

[2] See the article paper: “Investigar en comunicación no verbal: un modelo para el análisis del comportamiento kinésico de líderes políticos y para la determinación de su significación estratégica” (“Research in non-verbal communication: a paradigma formodel for the analysis of the kinesic behaviour of political leaders and for the determination of itstheir strategic signification”), published in Enseñanza & Teaching, 27 (2009); and the chapter “Nuevas tendencias del periodismo político especializado: dimensión estratégica de la comunicación no verbal en los debates electorales televisados de 2008” (“New trends in specialised political specialised journalism: strategic dimension of non-verbal communication in the 2008 televised broadcast electoral debates in 2008”), in Prensa y periodismo especializado (Specialised Press and Journalism) (2009), written by the authors of this article paper.

[3] http://www.tns-global.es/actualidad/audiencia-tv/ (15/09/2010).

[4] http://www.laguiatv.com/audiencias (15/09/2010).

[5] The analysis cardfile has been was created by the research authors of this article which mean sanand it is an extract of the matrix card file which that takes into account all the categories that which can be possibly analyzsed in the non-verbal communication of a subject as well asand the an explanation of its persuasive meaning.

[6] All the graphs presented here were created by the authors have been self-developedof the article.

[7] The persuasive signification meaning presented should be examined precised based having into account on the context to which it is will be applied and the repetition degree observed.

APPENDIX 1I

TABLE 1. Nonverbal Communication Content analysis filecard of the NVC

 

GESTURAL SYSTEM

PERSUASIVE MEANING [7]

REPETITION DEGREE

FACIAL GESTURES

POSITIVE
NEGATIVE
NEUTRAL

HIGH
MEDIUM
LOW
NULL

HEAD GESTURES

 

 

Affirmation

 

 

Negation

 

 

Face turned away

 

 

Upright head

 

 

Head tilted backwards

 

 

Head tilted to one side

 

 

Head looking down

 

 

Shoulders shrug

 

 

Hands clasped behind head

 

 

Head tilted to the sides

 

 

Stroking chin

 

 

Head rested on hand/fingers

 

 

WAY OF LOOKING

 

 

Looking down

 

 

Looking up

 

 

Scrutinizing/searching look

 

 

Side look

 

 

Firm and honest look

 

 

Fierce look

 

 

Avoiding look

 

 

Looking out of the corner of the eye

 

 

Surprise look

 

 

Half-closed eyes

 

 

Sparkling eyes

 

 

Unfocused eyes

 

 

EYEBROWS

 

 

Brow furrow

 

 

MOUTH

 

 

Authentic smile

 

 

Horrified smile

 

 

Disdaining smile

 

 

Shy smile

 

 

Sad smile

 

 

Sadistic or cruel smile

 

 

Chaplinesque smile

 

 

Fake smile

 

 

Tense smile

 

 

Crooked smile

 

 

Open mouth smile

 

 

OTHER MOUTH GESTURES

 

 

Corners of the mouth down

 

 

Covering mouth with hand

 

 

Yawn

 

 

FACIAL EMOTIONS

 

 

Happiness

 

 

Sadness

 

 

Anger

 

 

Disgust

 

 

Surprise

 

 

Fear

 

 

Neutrality/ Others

 

 

BODY GESTURES

 

 

SHOULDERS

 

 

Shake shoulders

 

 

Shrug shoulders

 

 

Pat shoulders

 

 

Punch shoulders

 

 

ARMS

 

 

Arms down

 

 

Arms up

 

 

Open arms

 

 

Arms down with fists

 

 

Arms crossed over chest

 

 

Reinforced arms crossing

 

 

Huggingwith both arms

 

 

Arms crossed with thumbs up

 

 

Arms crossed symmetrically

 

 

Hands clasped on the front

 

 

Arms crossed disguisedly

 

 

Rub one's hands

 

 

Touch the shirt’s cuff or tie

 

 

HANDS

 

 

Open palm up

 

 

Open palm down

 

 

Hand with pointing finger

 

 

One fist up

 

 

Both fists displayed

 

 

Clasped hand

 

 

Steepling fingers

 

 

Hands clasped behind back

 

 

Hand holding wrist

 

 

Hand holding arm

 

 

Thumbs up

 

 

OK hand gesture

 

 

Covering mouth with hand

 

 

Hands touching other parts of the body,
clothing or objects

 

 

ILLUSTRATING HAND GESTURES

 

 

Oscillating and pacing fingers or hands

 

 

Pointing fingers or hands

 

 

Descriptive hands

 

 

Steepling fingers

 

 

FINGERS

 

 

Thumb up to show everything is OK

 

 

Oscillating index finger

 

 

Threatening index finger

 

 

OK (ring) gesture

 

 

Victory sign

 

 

GESTURES WITH CHEST

 

 

Self-representation

 

 

Self-embrace

 

 

Hand on check

 

 

GESTURES WITH HIS BACK

 

 

Standing up or hands behind back

 

 

Pat someone’s back

 

 

OVERALL MOVEMENTS

 

 

Harsh / aggressive movements

 

 

Nervous movements

 

 

Calm movements

 

 

Firm confident movements

 

 

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

 

 

Tie

 

 

Clothing

 

 

Accessories

 

 

Source: Authors’ creation.

HOW TO CITE THIS ARTICLE IN BIBLIOGRAHIES / REFERENCES:

Rodríguez-Escanciano, I y Hernández-Herrarte, M. (2010): "Analysis of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s nonverbal communication", at Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 65, pages 436 to 459. La Laguna (Tenerife, Canary Islands): La Laguna University, retrieved on ___th of ____ of 2_______, from
http://www.revistalatinacs.org/10/art3/911_Cervantes/33_ImeldaEN.html

DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-65-2010-911-436-459-EN

Note: the DOI number is part of the bibliographic references and it must be cited if you cited this article.

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