Body language expert deciphers 'Robama's expressions' during presidential debate
US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney looked a little uneasy firing 'Big Bird' comments during the presidential debate in Denver, body language expert Chris Kowal has said.
"When he talked about Big Bird he looked down at his right and I suspect he was actually uncomfortable making that point," Kowal said, adding: "If you're uncomfortable with something you don't give great eye contact. You might look away."
According to ABC News, Romney's discomfort was likely compounded because he made his now famous Big Bird comment while saying he would cut the government subsidies for the PBS television channel, the company that employs the debate's moderator Jim Lehrer.
Kowal analyzed the facial expressions of Romney and President Barack Obama for clues about what they were really thinking during the one-on-one showdown.
He used a program that closely monitors the muscle movements of a person's face. When those muscles move, they may reveal underlying emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, and confusion, the report said.
He said that Romney, the widely acknowledged winner of the first debate, mostly showed negative emotions.
'What Romney was able to do was really show anger, contempt, scorn and pride. Those are the emotions that his voters in his base feel," Kowal, an assistant professor at Purdue University, said.
Although the emotions Obama expressed were 'positive' on the whole, he spent most of the debate displaying very little emotion at all, he said.
"Overall it was a very neutral valence, which is a little concerning because the candidates need to make an emotional connection and I think Obama did not," Kowal said, adding: "He was not expressive enough to really connect."