Story posted February 25, 2009
Joseph Tecce '55 has lying — or at least spotting it — down to a science.
The Boston College psychology professor and body language expert was part of a panel assembled to review a press conference held by beleaguered New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, accused of using steroids.
"I have not seen a more controlled, contrived press conference ever in my life," says Tecce in the Feb. 17, 2009, New York Daily News article that interviewed the panel about its observations.
Tecce's extensive research into the frequency of eyeblinks a person makes reveals that most of the time, people blink 30 to 50 times a minute — and considerably more when going before a TV camera because of what he calls "audience stress."
"Alex Rodriguez was at 20 blinks per minute during one of the most critical moments of his life," Tecce said. "That's evidence to me of how well-rehearsed he was."
Tecce also told the Daily News he's convinced the moment when A-Rod appeared to choke up at the mention of his teammates — and the 35-second pause that followed — was an act.
"If he was really choked up, his face would have shown some anguish," he said. "This was melodramatic. I think he faked a bit of emotion."