Coming up Wednesday

Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
October 17th, 2012
11:09 AM ET

Does body language tell all? Facial expression expert analyzes Obama, Romney in second presidential debate

On “Starting Point,” facial coding expert Dan Hill takes a closer look at the body language and expressions of the candidates and their wives in the second debate.

Hill argues that non-verbal cues may indicate how candidates feel and play a significant role in how viewers assess their performance in the debate. “25% of the brain is devoted to processing visuals. That's going on all the time. It's really decisive because it feeds into your emotional response,” Hill explains.

The facial coding expert also argues that Obama’s expressions were noticeably different in the second debate compared to the first. “Last time, he showed a lot of sadness and a lot of resignation. Sadness as an emotion means I kind of have resigned and given up. This time he was fighting for his issues. He was emoting strongly,” Hill explains.

Hill adds that the success of each candidate last night was further reflected in their wives’ faces after the debate. “I knew right away who lost this debate before it got to the poll. Ann Romney right after the debate showed embitterment,” Hill says. “[Her] mouth is pulled tight and you have upward thrust from the jaw area. The mouth goes down a little bit. That is anger and disgust and it was in the eyes and in the mouth and it was in the lips.”

Filed under: 2012 Race • Barack Obama • Mitt Romney • Presidential Debates
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. N orma George

    Crowley just couldn't help showing her bias. Her comments were uncalled for and diminished the quality of the debate.

    October 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sara

    So Soledad, Obama showed fear - because he knows he screwed up in Libya?

    And couldn't Ann Romney be disgusted with the way Obama lied or disgusted with the way the debate was moderated? not necessarily an indicator that Mitt Romney lost the debate?

    October 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.