Justin Patton

Justin Bieber Teaches the World About Body Language, and Usher

Justin Bieber Teaches the World About Body Language, and Usher

WARNING: You will never look at Justin Bieber the same – and it’s worth it!

The Biebs gave every body language and communication skills expert in the world a gift this week when the footage of his Miami deposition was released. He taught the world what NOT to do during a deposition. His arrogance will make you laugh, piss you off, and even leave you confused.  

Check out this 2 minute TMZ YouTube video and see how many body language cues you can identify. Afterwards, compare your observations with our analysis below and let us know how you did!





Video Body Language Analysis
:06 Justin quickly shakes his head no and flashes a sign of confusion with his eyebrows when asked if he knows Raymond Usher IV. We know based on Justin’s relationship with Usher that he is lying but it appears that he’s confused on why the question is being asked.
:09 Watch closely and you will see Justin show his arrogance by projecting a slight smile that he tries to conceal. You can see it leak from the left corner of his lip. This is referred to as “duping delight.”  Dr. Paul Ekman refers to this as “the near irresistible thrill some people feel in taking a risk and getting away with it.” Check out this great article from The Ekman Group.
:10 Microexpressions are expressions that last only a fraction of a second and are missed by most people. There are seven universal microexperessions: anger, happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust, and contempt. We don’t know why but Justin shows a mircoexpression of sadness at this moment. See if you can spot how the corners of his lips turn down for a brief second.
:12 Justin shakes his head yes and says, “Yeah, Usher, that sounds familiar.” When asked if he knows Usher. His gestures are congruent here.
:41 Eye blocking is when an individual closes his/her eyes longer than normal to avoid seeing what’s there. Justin demonstrates that here. This is clearly a sign that he is done looking/deal with what’s in front of him.
:45 When lawyer Mark DiCowden says, “Thank you for your memory” Justin conducts an eyebrow flash and a smirk on the left side of his face. An eyebrow flash is generally performed when we are interested in someone or recognizing something. It appears that Justin is recognizing himself and it is a sign of his arrogance.
1:01 Justin says, “I was detrimental to my own career.” It appears that he shows a microexpression of contempt on the right side of face.
1:19 Justin revises his word choice after prompting from his lawyer. He says the word, “instrumental” then leans back and demonstrates chin stroking which is an evaluation gesture (thinking).
1:37 Justin pauses for a bit and then answers “Yes!” directly when asked if Usher was instrumental to his career. Generally when someone pauses it’s a sign that they’re thinking about the answer or formulating a response. Given this is a deposition that makes sense; however, we have to wonder why Justin would have to think so long about that question.
1:42 Justin answers with a quick “Yes” when asked if Usher is a close friend. He also shakes his head yes which shows his answers are congruent with his body language. This appears to be a true statement.
1:53 YOU’LL WANT TO REWIND FOR THIS ONE!Justin is obviously uncomfortable talking about Usher (which we do not know why). He changes his body alignment by leaning back in the chair, demonstrates a pacifying gesture by adjusting his jacket, and responds to the question, “Is Usher a confidant?” by saying, “Um, I guess…Yes.” Justin is shaking his head no while saying yes. These gestures are incongruent. One might quickly assume that he’s lying based on this behavior; however, based on his earlier word choice, I believe Justin was confused on what the word confidant meant. Someone needs to sit him down and show him the opening of “The Golden Girls.” This would teach him the meaning of the word and how to have enough humility to say, “Thank you for being a friend,” Usher.
1:59 Justin shakes his head no and avoids answering the question when asked if Usher has given him career advice.


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Justin Patton