The Psychology of Donald Trump’s Body Language

us-election-analysis-2016Our resident expert on body language Professor Geoff Beattie has recently published new work on ‘How Donald Trump bullies with his body language‘. This piece focuses on Donald Trump during the second Presidential debate and has appeared in a collected volume on the U.S. election 2016 that features 83 contributions from leading academics around the world. This volume examines the role of the media in the campaign, the campaign itself, the underlying policy considerations, diversity and division in the campaign, the view from overseas, the digital campaign, pop culture and populism, with a final reflective section on the election result and its implications. The editors were D. Lilleker, E. Thorsen, D. Jackson& A. Veneti (Eds.), US Election Analysis 2016: Media, Voters and the Campaign. Bournemouth: CSJCC.

“The Psychology of Language and Communication” to become a classic edition

bookProfessor Geoff Beattie’s book ‘The Psychology of Language and Communication’ written with Andy Ellis is to be reprinted in the Psychology Press/Routledge classic editions series.

The publishers write:

‘The Psychology Press & Routledge Classic Editions series celebrates a commitment to excellence in scholarship, teaching, and learning within the field of Psychology and related areas. The books in this series are widely recognized as timeless classics, of continuing importance for both students and researchers. Each title contains a completely new introduction which explores what has changed since the books were first published, where the field might go from here and why these books are as relevant now as ever. Written by recognised experts, and covering core areas of the subject, the Psychology Press & Routledge Classic Editions series presents fundamental ideas to a new generation.’

EHU Psychology Professor reports on Donald Trump’s body language


Professor Beattie wrote a piece for ‘The Conversation’ on Donald Trump’s bullying tactics in the second Presidential debate. It focussed on his body language and gestures, his name calling, and his nonverbal communication as comment whilst Hillary Clinton was talking. Professor Beattie argued that these are the kinds of tactics that boxers use to intimidate their opponents and affected how the whole thing was viewed and discussed.  The article had 58k reads on ‘The Conversation‘ over the first few days.  The article was reprinted in Newsweek and can be found here.

Edge Hill University student heads to Sri Lanka to expand her knowledge and understanding of global mental health

In March, an Edge Hill Psychology student, Jessica Ashworth travelled to Sri Lanka to undertake a voluntary Mental Health Placement with SLV.Global; a graduate-led volunteering organisation, which runs psychology-focused placements in Sri Lanka and also in Bali, Indonesia.

For today’s psychology students who wish to pursue a career in the mental health sector, it’s important to gain worthwhile, hands-on work experience. Not only has Jessica utilised and developed important skills in her chosen field of study but she has also developed an in-depth understanding of mental health from an additional cultural perspective.

During her placement Jessica planned and ran therapeutic activity sessions in psychiatric facilities for individuals living with a wide range of mental health issues. In addition to their time at the hospital, volunteers also worked at numerous schools and social initiatives for children and adults with disabilities and taught English in the local community.

Many skills are honed and developed through working and living abroad. Most obviously, not sharing a common language can be a challenge and discovering new ways to make yourself understood without the aid of verbal language requires patience, innovation and creativity. The ability to be flexible and cool under pressure and to remain composed, even when things aren’t going to plan, are all attributes any future employer or educator would value.

During her placement Jessica lived out of her comfort zone for much of the week. The weekends, however, were a different story. Volunteers on the Mental Health Placement in Sri Lanka had their weekends free to roam the lush, tropical island and uncover its many secrets. You can read what Jessica said about her time in Sri Lanka below and if you have any questions you can check out SLV.Global on or email them on

“It’s hard to sum up such an incredible month with all the sorts of different individuals we worked with, but a final very valuable part of the project was meeting psychology students from all over the world and learning from each of their experiences with ideas they brought to new projects.” – Jessica Ashworth.

Can recreational drugs be helpful in psychological therapy?

There is much debate about the effects of recreational drugs, such as MDMA (ecstasy),  particularly on cognitive functioning, such as memory processing ability. However, Professor Philip Murphy, along with other highly commended academics within this field have been debating the use of MDMA in psychological therapy. A recent article in the ‘I’ newspaper includes these insights and questions whether the positive, calming effects known to be associated with MDMA are useful in assisting the process of overcoming trauma, grief and extreme negative emotions. The article can be located here


Analysing politicians’ body language

Professor Geoff Beattie has recently been interviewed on Russia’s Central Television program with Vadim Takmenev; the top current affairs and news programme in the former Soviet Union.  The program presents real life, political, social and cultural events and has featured Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Daniel Craig, Lara Fabian, Alain Delon, Jean-Claude Van Damme,  Jackie Chan, Benicio Del Toro, Til Schweiger, Vin Diesel, James Cameron, Lars von Trier, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Radcliffe, Stephen Fry, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev amongst others.  This particular program focused, in part, on Putin and Obama`s meeting during the recent G20 summit in China. Professor Beattie was featured as an expert on non-verbal communications analysing photos and videos of their meeting at the G20. The programme is made by NTV.

NTV Broadcasting Company is the largest non-governmental TV-network in Russia. It covers an audience of approximately 100 million people in countries of the former Soviet Union. It is also the main Russian language channel broadcast worldwide via satellite. NTV journalists have interviewed George Bush, Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft, James Baker, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Ariel Sharon, Mikhail Saakashvili, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Nicole Kidman and many others. NTV covers all the main political, social and cultural events each day and brings the top news stories from around the world which are produced by dedicated staff in Moscow working with colleagues at NTV’s world bureaux worldwide including New York, London, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Kyiv etc.

Human communication and digital technology

With the introduction of voice biometric technology, Professor Geoff Beattie has recently taken part in a number of interviews on the nature of multi-modal human communication. Specifically, how we use digital communication for everyday communication, but not for some of the more important things in life that conversations are particularly suited to. This insight was particularly well received by many broadcasters including; BBC Lancashire, Radio Yorkshire, BBC York, BFBS, RNIB, Radio Cardiff, Sunrise Radio, Swansea Bay Radio, Radio Carmarthenshire, Radio Pembrokshire, Siren FM, BFRM (Wales), SFM, Big City Radio, Bolton FM, Black Diamond FM and Bridge FM. One of the radio interviews can be found here (start at approximately 2:10mins).