Lie to Me S1E02, Moral Waiver

Dr Paul Ekman’s critique of “Lie to Me”, Season 1, Episode 2; “Moral Waiver”

Lie to Me S01E02“Moral Waiver” – METT

Lightman is using METT – our Micro expression Training Tool. Anyone can learn to spot brief signs of concealed emotions. People who have spent as little as twenty minutes using METT can spot hidden feelings. Salespeople who train become more successful (and better liked). Training has also helped schizophrenic patients understand facial expressions. You can learn METT here.

“Moral Waiver” – No Emotion

Lightman illustrates how the absence of an emotion – in this case disgust – can be just as important as the presence of an emotion. Doubt arises about whether Lake was raped because she does not show the emotions typical of a rape victim. Absent emotions are important again, ten minutes later, when the other female soldiers don’t show the emotional reactions typical when women hear about another woman’s rape.

“Moral Waiver” – Partner Up

Many homicide investigators prefer conducting interrogations in teams, one just observing while the other one asks the questions. This is because having to think about what question you are  going to ask next takes attention away from noticing subtle shifts in behavior.

“Moral Waiver” – Innocent Anger

Lightman mentions that innocent people often are angry when they are under suspicion of a crime. Imagine how you would feel if the police thought you killed your beloved spouse. In addition to your grief about your spouse’s death, you would be furious that the police were wasting their time; outraged they suspected you could have killed your spouse. And you might try to conceal those emotions from the police.

“Moral Waiver” – The Naturals

We have found more than fifty naturals; and all of them had at least some college education. As a TSA agent Torres would have had training about how to spot signs of dangerous intent and deception from a person’s behavior, provided by the Paul Ekman Group. Still Torres wouldn’t know nearly as much as Lightman about the specifics of how lies are betrayed by behavior, but she would be, as she is in the show, just as good as he is in spotting liars.


About Stu Dunn

With a background in sales and behavioural science, I enjoy learning more about people, behaviour, psychology - which led into motivation - and more recently - sales again. Having started my own real estate company with my wife, it's time to merge interests.
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