Pseudoscience of body language is booming on YouTube

“When a specific gesture is associated with a specific meaning, when it is implicitly or explicitly presented as science, it begins to fall into the category of pseudoscience,” Deno said. Although scientists have coded certain behaviors to better understand communication in different environments, Deno said that these systems cannot be used in reverse to “decode.”

“The public believes that nonverbal behavior is only good for one thing: to detect who is lying and who is telling the truth. This is not the case,” Deno University of Portsmouth Research 2020 People are instructed to identify smugglers at the ferry crossing points in the video; although observers claimed to look for signs of tension, only 39.2% of people accurately identified smugglers, “much lower than the accidental level.”

In a September 2020 video about Amber Heard, Portenier filmed his reaction to the actress’ testimony. He laughed, smirked and rubbed his face in disbelief, then claimed that she ate snacks and watched​​ Not enthusiastic, “I am not a victim of Amber. This is a good indicator of her becoming an abuser.” In hindsight, Portenier supported the statement in the video, but said that he “may be a little bit fierce” if it is made now. For the video, he will be “more gentle”. Perhaps surprisingly, he agreed with De Novo about the dangers of pseudo-scientific analysis.

“On the Internet, it is now easy to claim that you know something and that no one can really resist it… This must be something I worry about,” he said. Portenier’s body language knowledge is mainly self-taught, although he has also taken some psychology courses in university.He said that he had been researching this topic for ten years, consuming the work of former FBI agent Jonavarro (he also Made multiple videos with WIRED). Portenier also studied the work of psychologist Paul Ekman on micro expressions, which are facial expressions that last for a fraction of a second and are difficult to hide. (Ekman admits himself, Micro-expressions that reveal hidden emotions are not commonAnd scholars pointed out that he has not published empirical data that proves that micro-expressions can be used to detect lies. )

Bruce Durham, 41, from Newcastle, England, made a video showing “The exact moment” Meghan Markle “lied” When I arrived at Oprah, I was also self-taught. Durham said he has been a performance coach for more than 20 years. “I have had thousands of hours just sitting in front of people and letting them talk,” Durham said. “When you spend so much time observing people and practicing observation skills, you can quickly develop trends and analysis, you kind of join in.” His channel, Believe in Bruce, With fewer than 200,000 subscribers.

Both Portenier and Durham emphasized that they are not leading experts in the field, and both said that they tried to convey to the audience the limitations of their work. “A lot of people are looking for who is lying and who is not lying, but you can never really tell this. What you can do is that they are divided into two categories that look comfortable and those that look uncomfortable,” Durham claimed (His analysis of Markle is interspersed with clips of Pinocchio’s nose in the Disney 1940 film). Durham said that identifying when someone looks uncomfortable is a starting point for asking further questions. This is not a conclusion in itself, but he admits that in order to get clicks, he makes video thumbnails and titles more “evocative.” Nevertheless, he believes: “I always start or end my videos with’you need fairness and balance’.” And I always say this many times. “

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