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Predator on the Prowl

By Jared A DeFife

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From The Psychology of Dexter

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Description

This is one essay from the anthology The Psychology of Dexter

Millions of us are fascinated by unlikely hero Dexter Morgan—a character who constantly makes us question what being “normal” really means. What makes Dexter tick? And what makes a show about a serial killer so appealing to those of us at home?

In The Psychology of Dexter 17 psychologists and devoted Dexter fans take on the show’s psychological complexities, analyzing not just the title character but also his family, coworkers, and even his viewers.

  • What can we learn about Dexter from the way he captures, kills, and disposes of his victims?
  • We know Dexter is a psychopath . . . don’t we? Without the Code of Harry, would Dexter have ever killed at all?
  • What do Deb’s daddy issues tell us about Dexter—and about Harry?
  • Was Rita a victim or a manipulator?
  • Can Jungian theory explain our fascination with Dexter? And do we need to be worried about our own Dark Passengers?

Think you know Dexter? The Psychology of Dexter will make you think again.

About the Editor

Bella DePaulo (PhD, Harvard) is the author of Behind the Door of Deceit: Understanding the Biggest Liars in Our Lives and Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She has published more than 100 scholarly articles. DePaulo’s work on deception has been described in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, the New Yorker, and many other publications. Dr. DePaulo has appeared as an expert on deception on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, the BBC, and other television outlets. She has also lectured nationally and internationally.

Contributors

Jared DeFife, PhD; Lisa Firestone, PhD; Joshua L. Gowin; Marisa Mauro, PsyD; Matthew E. Jacovina; Matthew A. Bezdek; Jeffrey E. Foy; William G. Wenzel; Richard J. Gerrig, PhD; Morrie Mullins, PhD; Melissa Burkley, PhD; Edward Burkley, PhD; Wind Goodfriend, PhD; Chase Barrick; David Barber-Callaghan; Nigel Barber, PhD; Tamara McClintock Greenberg, PsyD; Adi Jaffe; Paul Wilson, PhD; Stephen D. Livingston; Jeremy Clyman; and Christopher Ryan, PhD

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About the Author

Jared A  DeFife

Jared DeFife, PhD, is a clinical psychology research scientist at Emory University and Associate Director of the Laboratory of Personality and Psychopathology (www.psychsystems.net). A former clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School, he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Adelphi University.

Dr. DeFife specializes in the study of personality, mood disorders, and psychotherapy. He also frequently publishes and teaches on psychodynamic therapy, research methods, media, politics, film, and literature. He serves on the editorial board of the American Psychological Association journal Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training and contributes a regular blog to Psychology Today. He is currently working on a National Institute of Mental Health—funded investigation of alternative approaches to personality disorder diagnosis for ICD-11 and DSM-V.

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