Abstract: Classical works on persuasive computing have pointed out how technologies attempting to influence the User need to communicate in a competent and also dominant way (Fogg [Ubiquity 5 (2002)]; Poggi & D’Errico [in: HBU 2010, Springer, Heidelberg, 2010, pp. 163–174]). Taking an opposite perspective, this study investigates the peculiar communication of a humble politician as a source of persuasion, by using multimodal analysis, also in view of its automatic detection. Psychology of political communication studies have stressed the role of dominance in the self-presentation of politicians, while implicitly excluding the very hypothesis that a political leader can be or can present himself as humble. This work presents three studies on humility and humble politicians. First a survey study investigates how laypeople define humility, trying to extract the defining features of the “humble stance”, such as non-superiority, empathy, equality and others. Then a qualitative analysis singles out, in the multimodal communication of four humble leaders, the postures, prosodic features, gaze and facial expressions that specifically convey the semantic features of humility hypothesized by the previous survey. The third study, by means of two software types for automatic detection (I-motions and Vokaturi), explores the emotions most typically expressed by the humble leaders’ voice and face.
Keywords: Political humility, humble leadership, multimodal communication, emotions, automatic detection