Season 3 Episode 10: Rebound

Sociopaths

There was a lot of science in “Rebound,” but regrettably most of it was wrong!

One important matter the show got right is how some people make no mistakes when they lie. This is true of some but not all sociopaths. Their lack of guilt may contribute to their success in conning others. But I think it is more due to their charm – I know I am dealing with a sociopath when I have the impulse to invite them home for dinner on first meeting. Also good liars have an unerring sense of what their victim needs, what the victim wants to believe. Again not all sociopaths are such good judges of other people. And, many people who have this skill, who can take the viewpoint of the other person and understand what that person needs and believes, are not sociopaths.

Apart from the depiction of George the sociopath, most of what was said about nonverbal behavior has no scientific basis. That doesn’t mean it is necessarily wrong in every given instance. Just that scientific study of lying by me and colleagues has not found evidence to support the claims made in the program that:

The sons angling away from his mother shows distrust.

When Lily is told her face shows anger, it doesn’t.

Lily’s forward lean signals intent to act on her anger.

There is a sign of guilt in the face different from the sadness family of emotions.

The mouth can signal regret.

But these interpretations do move the story forward.

Previous episode

Next episode

Episode Guide


Season 1

Season 2

Season 3