Does the television show, "LIE TO ME" hold true to the deception theory? are these theories true and written in stone or made believable because it is for an entertaining television show?

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amymc's profile pic

amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Lie to Me is a popular television show in which the protagonist, Dr. Lightman, is able to decipher when people are lying to a degree that nobody else can.  Therefore, he is able to solve crimes and mysteries that would otherwise remain unsolved.

While the psychology of lying is vast, the deception theory certainly plays a role in this TV drama.  One precept of the theory is that people, when they lie, give away this lie through body language, facial expression, and tone of voice; this is known as emotional leakage.  Their behaviors may also contradict the verbal lie they tell.  These telltale expressions may be indetectable to most, but Dr. Lightman, a deception theorist, can always pinpoint these variances and use them to flesh out the truth.

Further more, the Fox series is based upon the work of Paul Eckman, a pioneering psychologist in the field of deciphering lies using microexpressions and body language.  He himself notes that the television program is true to the deception theory to some extent:

How the Lightman Group spots lies is largely based on findings from my research. Because it is a drama not a documentary, Dr. Lightman is not as tentative about interpreting behavior as I am. Lies are uncovered more quickly and with more certainty than it happens in reality. But most of what you see is based on scientific evidence. (www.paulekman.com)

Yes, the tv show is related to and reflects the tenets of deception theory.

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biff0525's profile pic

biff0525 | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Mostly. Dr Paul Ekman was scientific adviser to the programme and much of his work is built into the programme. It drifts into drama but Dr Ekman says it is 80% solid. He produces a blog on FOX to state where the content is drama and where it is science. You can see more at the Paul Ekman International website.

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