Lie to Me Season 2 Episode 6 “Lack of Candor” Comments

watch-lie-to-me-onlineSo the last few weeks I have written about how I hate the bastardization of the science in the show, the arrogance of Cal Lightman and the implausibility of what happens.

I have decided to stop ranting about the show in this blog and just talk about how cool the actual science is in real life.

Studying human behavior is just great. Even though psychology is the study of human behavior, you couldn’t imagine just how many psychologists who do research go through their careers without ever having actually measured behavior in their studies. Behavior is so complex, so fascinating.

It’s simply amazing what we do with our hands, bodies, and faces when we interact with others, and just go on with our everyday lives. In addition, so much of that is unconscious – we’re not even aware of what we are doing. In fact there have been a number of studies that have shown that what people think and say they do has little relationship with what they actually do, especially with regard to their facial expressions.

As I write this I am on a plane bound for Washington DC to teach the stuff that is talked about in the show. It is an amazing feeling to know that the scientific knowledge that one helped to create can be put to useful purposes to make the world a little safer, to help people be a little happier, or to help us get along a little better.

I think one of the most important lessons I have learned in the last few years working with the people we train is just how many good, honest, decent people there are out there who are doing whatever they can to make the world a better place to be. They – not the Cal Lightmans – are the true heroes of the world. Thinking about them is plenty motivation for me at my stage of life and career to keep doing the work I do, much more so that any scientific notoriety or the publication.

One behavior I wanted to comment about in the last show was Sheila’s head nod when she said “no.” While this is oftentimes a hot spot, sometimes it is not, because people often nod their head in affirmation with the question being asked while answering it. The opposite is also true – sometimes people shake their head “no” while saying “yes,” oftentimes to emphasize something in their response or in response to something else about the question.

Thus, as we have discussed in the past, a hot spot is never necessarily a sign of deception as is; it always has to be followed up with appropriate questioning, probing, and information gathering. They are signs that “there’s more to the story than is being told.”

5 responses to “Lie to Me Season 2 Episode 6 “Lack of Candor” Comments”

  1. Supermouse says:

    This might be a completely unrelated question to this entry, or indeed to anything you do or have done, and it may be a question you’re not interested in answering. However, it seems as good a point as any to ask: how do you regard the works of Desmond Morris? He wrote Manwatching and The Human Zoo and various other things, and these days I wonder if he added to the field of studying human behaviours, or ended up utterly debunked, or is entirely irrelevant since he’s a zoologist not a psychologist.

  2. Ian Trudel says:

    Hello, David!

    Rant is not always a bad thing especially when you’re ready to go full length behind your reasoning. I have discovered your blog few hours ago and this is what I like about it: you are no short of words to form extensive explanation (within the scope of a blog post). It may well help those who are less familiar to distinguish facts from fiction.

    The show is still very entertaining in my opinion. One commenter has said the new season brought this new highlights of AUs, which he did not like, but I think it is great. It sparks interest in the science. My disappointment would be that this season is more about crimes than otherwise, a bit more violent and rough than the previous season. I don’t think it’s necessary to have people hurt on every episode to make the science or stories more interesting, but, hey, that’s just me… 🙂

    Keep up with your blog!


  3. Supermouse,

    Desmond Morris did some seminal work on gestures, and much of it is held in high regard in many circles. That being said, I think we approach the study
    of gestures in a more scientifically rigorous way. Nevertheless, his work was interesting and timely.

    Thanks for your question!


  4. Anthony says:

    Hi David,

    I was ecstatic when I started watching this show during the first season. They devoted a lot of time to explaining the science behind the idea and brought it up many times in the show over and over again. My favorite episode from season one was “Blinded.”

    This year, however, has been a great disappointment. I have heard that the guy who was in charge of “the unit” took over and, while I don’t think or know if the show was good or bad…I’m sure it was your normal…run of the mill dramatic cop show.

    I feel as if the approach to the show in the second season is all wrong. Every character has taken a backseat to Cal Lightman and it is obvious they are trying to make him into “Dr. Greg House v.2.”

    I want to know more about the science and why he is making decisions that he is in the show. I also want to know more about the other characters in the show…not just cal.

    I noticed you ranting so I thought I would rant on my own.

    It’s a shame that they (FOX) is kinda destroying a great show that had great possibilities.

  5. Jon says:

    They are not “destroying” the show. It’s a simple matter of being an entertainment venue rather than a Discovery channel venue. See all the CSIs, Bones, etc for entertainment-based science. It would be nice to have fact-based representations that could be used in everyday life to some extent, but that is not the goal of the industry. Ex: Imagine the sales totals of Indiana Jones’ movies if he actually did authentic archeology work.

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