Barack Obama & the Pinocchio Effect

I went to over the weekend, mostly as an amusement. I enjoy the ridiculous headlines. I am not a fan of Fox News. I think a majority of their news is awful and between the fake blondes, ‘Botox’-ed eyes, and over indulgence of makeup, I have a tough time listening to anything they say.

Still I find it amusing to browse the front page. This Saturday morning I noticed a rather interesting story. Sean Hannity, gleaming ear to ear about the Democrats’ recent downfall, posted a news clip arguing that the results of the most recent election were a direct vote against President Obama.

The most interesting part of Hannity’s clip was an excerpt from a speech Obama gave in mid-October in which he stated “I’m not on the ballot this fall.” I don’t care if the election was a vote on Obama himself, as Hannity proposed, or whether it was just on his policies. What I did find so interesting about the clip was Obama’s use of body language; body language that could possibly articulate lying.

Below is the clip I created for YouTube. I sliced out all the Hannity’s extraneous material and focused on the part (in normal time and in slow motion) I wanted you to see.

Notice anything – perhaps an obvious nose scratch? Why could scratching his nose be so important?

Basically scratching your nose can indicate lying. Allan and Barbara Pease in their book The Definitive Book on Body Language argue that nose touching can be one of the top deceit signals especially among men. To support their thesis, they focused on a study conducted by scientists at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. These scientists found that when you intentionally lie two important things happen regarding your nose.

First your body releases chemicals known as catecholamines, which upon release cause the tissue inside your nose to swell. Second, using special imaging cameras, the scientists found that when you lie the blood pressure around your nasal areas increases.

This increased blood pressure combined with the your body’s release of catecholmaines actually inflates your nose. It isn’t visible to the human eye, but this slight nose inflation can cause the nerve endings in your nose to tingle. To satisfy this itch a liar will typically rub the tip of their nose. This phenomenon is referred to as the ‘Pinocchio Effect.’

This theory was further supported as recently as 2012 when two Spanish researches at the University of Granada found by using thermal imaging, that when you intentionally lie, the temperature at the tip of your nose soars.

What about Bill Clinton? Watch this clip I made below:

Still don’ believe? While studying the ‘Pinocchio Effect,’ two American neurologists did an extensive analysis of Bill Clinton’s testimony to the Grand Jury. They found that when he told the truth, he rarely touched his nose.

What does this mean? 80% of what we say is through body language, 10% through tone, and the last 10% through our actual words.

Don’t believe everything you hear. Use your eyes!















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