I thought I'd talk a little bit about the research I did for the novel. I'm a research hound for sure and can get easily sidetracked into finding those fun little facts that help make the story more fun and interesting for the reader.
I am fascinated by body language. I often watch Tonya Reiman on the O'Reilly Factor as she analyzes body language. I have not read any of her books so cannot speak to their quality but I did read What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro who is an ex-FBI type and I do highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more on the subject.
Some of the most interesting points were as follows:
- The limbic brain (the emotion center) gives a true response through body language that is congruent with how we really feel. It reacts reflexively, instantly, in real time and without thought.
- The neocortex is the higher, thinking part of the brain and is also the least honest.
- Non-verbal behaviors are sometimes referred to as "tells" that disclose the person's true state of mind.
- What must be determined first is the subject's baseline behavior which would include:
- How they typically sit.
- Where they normally place their hands.
- Usual position of their feet.
- Posture and common facial expressions.
- Tilt of their heads.
- Where they place and hold possessions.
- Blink rate
- Then you look for signs of discomfort-- followed by a pacifying behavior. This might be someone pursing their lips (showing discomfort) and then smoothing their palms over their legs (a pacifying gesture).
- In watching Tonya and reading Joe's book-- neither will say that you can 100% tell if a person is lying. What you can see is that surrounding a group of questions-- the person has a lot of discomfort/pacifying behaviors and a skilled body language reader will then hone in on that area for questioning.
- The face is the most dishonest part of they body. Think about it-- from the time we are born we are taught to tell "little white lies" with a straight face. According to Joe, the feet are the most honest part of the body. So he prefers a subject to be sitting where he can observe their feet.