(Makeup for missed discussion on October 27th)
After recently watching through the first three seasons of the hit Showtime series Dexter, I began to think about how his emotions can be viewed in psychology.
Dexter Morgan, the main character in the show, works in forensics for the Miami Metro Police Department and specializes in blood analysis. He is extremely proficient at his job, but he holds a very dark secret; he is a serial killer. Ever since he was a little boy, Dexter had urges to kill. His Dad began to notice this and he decided to train Dexter to kill only other killers that are dangerous and could do the deed again. After his dad dies, no one else knows of Dexter's secret as he is very good at what he does. As the show progresses it is clear that Dexter has little emotional attachment to any thing in his life. How can this be? Why would someone not experience the emotions that any normal human would?
After doing some research, it is clear that Dexter is a psychopath. Psychopathy is a mental disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness. Psychopaths are also known to have a low tolerance for boredom and a need for excitement. These are both characteristics that Dexter displays throughout the show.
How does someone become a psychopath? There are a number of reasons. Genetics and traumatic childhood experiences are both causes could have influenced Dexter. He witnessed his mother's murder as a toddler which could have led to his disorder. He also discovered that he has a serial killer brother. This shows how genetics can play a role.
Dexter is an incredible show that should definitely be checked out by anyone who is interested in Psychology, or just wants an entertaining series to start watching!