Thursday, February 14, 2008

Overanalysis is a Kind of Analysis

In our never-ending quest to determine which of two people who are very obviously lying are lying more, we've called in the body language experts:

The first verbal knife had yet to be thrown. Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee had yet to say a single word. And yet renowned body language expert Janine Driver already had jumped off her couch, paused the TiVo and pointed to her television with the excitement of someone who had just found a lost wedding ring.

"See that!?! See that!?!" Driver said. "Did you see the way Roger pulled his thumb in? That's a hot spot. That's a hot spot. That's a potential sign of deception!"

Apparently John Edward was busy talking to dead people and was unavailable.

But maybe I'm too cynical. I can appreciate that non-verbal cues may very well indicate deception. There's some science behind it. And, really, who am I to quibble with the expert who provides the basis for this story:

Driver first noticed the pitcher pull his right thumb into his hand while
he was being sworn. She said that noted jury consultant Jo Ellen Demetrius, who
helped pick the jury for the original O.J. Simpson trial, has a theory that
whenever somebody sticks their thumb in while being sworn in, he or she will be
a difficult witness.

And if you can't trust the judgment of the person responsible for the O.J. jury, whose can you trust?

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