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The Psychology of Dexter (Psychology of Popular Culture) Paperback – September 7, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Psychology of Popular Culture
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Smart Pop (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193525197X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935251972
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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.

More About the Author

I'm Bella DePaulo. I'm a 50-something year old and I have always been single. I love my single life. But I do not love all of the ridiculous assumptions people make about me when they first meet me and learn that I am single. (No, I do not spend my evenings crying in my beer.) I'm also a social scientist (with a PhD in social psychology from Harvard). I write about singles with a passion. My work on this topic (and others) has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, Time magazine, and many others. There have been feature stories in Psychology Today and the AARP magazine. I've also been on the Today show and other morning shows, CNN, NPR, and many others. I've written op-eds for publications such as the New York Times, Newsday, the San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. I have been a visiting professor of psychology at UC Santa Barbara since 2000. I think that makes me a permanent visitor. Get in touch if you would like to hire me to speak at your event.

My first book on singles was "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After." My second is a collection of 89 essays, "Single with Attitude: Not Your Typical Take on Health and Happiness, Love and Money, Marriage and Friendship."

I am also an expert on the social psychology of lying. I wrote a short book, "Behind the Door of Deceit: Understanding the Biggest Liars in Our Lives." I also published a collection of professional papers, "The Lies We Tell and the Clues We Miss." You can read more about all of my work on my website, www.BellaDePaulo.com.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I found it very interesting and thought-provoking.
Sandy B Ande
Anyone in or interested in the psychology field should read it.
Coyote '05
Great companion book to the dexter series, Hannibal and more.
dilemma

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By L. Brown on December 1, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this book was excellent. I bought it because I'm a "Dexter" fan, but the book is really so much more. To start with, it is not written by just one author, but by several specialists in their own fields. You get various opinions about Dexter because of this. But even if Dexter was not the purpose of the book, I would still consider it outstanding. There is much to be explained and learned about all of the "mental problems" everyone experiences through themselves, someone they know, or someone they have heard about. This book really does a good job of explaining the consequences of these problems. Just the chapter alone on "Personality and Behavioral Traits of Adult Children of Narcissistic Families" is worth the price of the whole book. A job well done.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Coaxial Creature on January 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Psychology of Dexter is an edited book of essays, showing that the first four seasons of Dexter use real life psychology to draw us in, and relate to the characters. It also explores the characters, asking questions such as what if Dexter isn't a psychopath but rather suffering from childhood PTSD? (The answer is that he very well might have been, and not been destined to kill as Harry has told him; in that case, his foster father, although well intentioned, may have in fact turned Dexter into a psychopath.)

Each essay is well thought out, well presented, and all but one ask these type of questions, and really made me think about the show. There was one essay - The Psychology of Dexter's Kills by Marisa Mauro - that I felt fell flat because it was just 'this is what serial killers do, and this is how Dexter fits the role of a serial killer'. Excuse me, but yawn, I know he's a serial killer, I knew enough about trophies to realize that he took them, and while I learned a little more about the trophies, it wasn't enough to keep me hooked. However, this is one out of seventeen essays, and the others kept me reading non-stop; seriously, in line at the grocery store? Hey, it's like one or two minutes, and I needed to know what this book said.

And to be fair to Marisa, she wrote another essay further along in the book called It's All About Harry - which quite frankly makes Harry seem less well intentioned than most of the essays, but was backed up with a lot of quotes, and scenes from the show, and made sense when given the layman's terms, and the proof - and which held my interest far, far more than her first essay. In fact, only going over the list of essays did I realize they were written by the same person.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Max Golding on October 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've only read the first couple chapters so far, but the depth of these analyses are pretty outstanding. SPOILERS BELOW!!!!!!

IE one interpretation is that Harry completely created Dexter, and that there was no knowing that Dexter would inevitably do what he would do, but rather that Harry just encouraged the killing. In the show you generally get the impression that it's OK that Dexter ended up this way because of his childhood, that his childhood created him, that killing, and the cycle it creates, made him the way he was inevitably. The first chapter of this book is about how this is nonsense, and that Harry is actually at fault, and literally created Dexter The Murderer as we know him.

Really interesting stuff.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Art Chik on February 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a collection of essays by different authors, covering different aspects of the psychology of the character Dexter, the interactions between the characters as if they were real people, and comparing Dexter to other serial killers. What if Harry had taken Dexter to therapy when he was young instead of training him to be a serial killer? How do serial killers work and how do they compare to Dexter? How do Deb and the other characters enable Dexter? How does the show "work?" How do the writers draw the viewers in? This is an interesting analysis of us, the viewers, and why we react the way we do to the show. And, who is scarier -- Dexter and other serial killers, or "ordinary" people who manage genocide and kill many, many more people? One author argues that these "normal" people are far more dangerous.

A few of the ideas I'd thought of already, a few I thought were far-fetched, and others were eye-opening. Read this book if you're curious about how Dexter's mind works and how his mind fits into the larger human experience.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Condit on May 31, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant book that actually makes the series come alive a bit more. This effort could easily have turned into a dull synopsis full of psych industry jargon, but it's a great read filled with examples. Definitely Recommended!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Angel V-I on December 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you're a nerd for this show like I am, then this is definitely something to pick up, especially if you can get it for $3 on your Kindle or iPad or whatever. While I can't say I'd necessarily agree with every assertion made in every essay--and indeed some of them seem to conflict with each other--it's kind of like having an academic debate about the show with a friend of yours. It's all pretty good stuff to think about, whether or not a lot of it is a matter of opinion. I haven't read the whole thing, but what I've read has been mostly worthwhile, although admittedly some of it's kind of dry. (Probably if I didn't want something a bit dry I made a mistake picking up a "Psychology of That Thing You LIke" book though.)

What I will say is that this book could maaaaaaajorly benefit from an update. Like in a huge way. It was published after season 4, and to date season 7 is already almost over, which means that a lot of the points made in this book have really obvious counterpoints because 35 new episodes have turned up since then and a lot of speculation has been explicitly contradicted (and sometimes confirmed). This is not to mention how much more stuff there is to talk about.

But then I can see why not update it yet. I mean if you know the show's going to end after season 8, and we do, then why update it now when you know it's going to be outdated again in a year?

Another flaw in this book is that it's kind of serious, which I suppose is the point, but I think in some cases it would behoove the essayists to take the entire thing with a grain of salt.
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