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Episode 2 of the Body Language Noob Breakdown series is a classic. As most of you heard Manti Te’o was the victim of a catfishing scandal. The definition straight from Urban Dictionary is, “A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.” Katie Curric brought Manti Te’o on her show to ask questions and get down to the real answers. Of course, with a scandal of this magnitude, there is sure to be a lot of misinformation. This is where you, the NonVerbalNoob Army comes in.

This is a great interview to analyze body language. Here is the link so you can follow along http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2d1iNQkbDA .

manti te'o

Around the 6:08 mark you’ll notice that Manti Te’o is extremely uncomfortable throughout the entire interview because he has his hands folded in front of his crotch majority of the time. This is a maneuver men do in order to feel more protected in uncomfortable situations. Of course, this is expected after what he’s been through.

At 7:37 ish we see what could be interpreted as a tight-lipped smile. After further analyzing this gesture, I decided it was more of a pacifier. It seems Manti Te’o is biting this inside of his lips in order to comfort himself while answering tough questions. We want to take this gesture with what is being said, “I didn’t know it was someone’s prank”.

Around 17:05 the big question was asked by Katie that many people have been asking since the scandal started, “Are you gay?” Manti answered with a quick head swoop side to side and a definite answer “No”, but there is a problem; right after the “conscious” head shake “no” we see some subtle head nods “yes”. This head nod is in disagreement with what he is saying verbally. He may not be gay, but he has definitely had the question affect him recently, even to the point where he may be unsure himself.

19:29 we see another pacifier displayed by him after being asked some more tough questions.

Pause the video exactly at 19:38-19:39 and you’ll see what I believe is a micro-expression for anger. Now to help the case we have to look at what the situation is and what is being said verbally. He talks about being angry for being tricked and flashes an uncontrolled micro-expression to match the way he was feeling at the time.

At 22:51 we see another example of the angry micro-expression that Manti Te’o displayed before. In this instance he is saying that the person who catfished him was creating hospital like noises in order to deceive Manti. This would create a lot of anger within a person after they find out they were tricked.

Around the 24:00 mark we have Manti say verbally that he was “jumping for joy” when he found out that he does help his “girlfriend”, but the problem is he doesn’t show any limbic responses to help encourage that he’s being truthful. Very hard to believe someone when the verbal and nonverbal gestures don’t match up.

At 30:00 he claims that he was angry, yet he is grinning like a little kid on Christmas day? I’m not too sure I believe his answer for this question. It’s very difficult to lie with our body language and in my opinion he’s saying the answer that everyone wants to hear, but is showing the opposite without intending to.

At 31:29 we see an open palm gesture which usually means that a person is being open and honest. Many experts get the vibe that he is being honest for a good portion of the interview.

In conclusion, I don’t believe Manti Te’o is the victim of being “catfished”, I think he’s the victim of being sheltered by his parents and possibly his religion. He wasn’t prepared for the deceiving side of the world and because of that he was easily tricked into believing a man on the internet was a woman.

For Visual Learners Only!

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