The Psychology of Dexter

Edited by Bella DePaulo, PhD
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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.

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Posted November 22nd Sign up for free chapters and book updates

If you’re already signed up for certain book mailing lists, you’ll have heard about the exciting new initiative we’re starting. When you sign up for designated mailing lists (they’ll be paired with the above graphic), you’ll not only get the latest news on the book, but we’ll also email you a free PDF of book content. There are thirteen excerpts you can download right now and there’s no limit to what you can...

Guest Post: Dexter’s Work-Family Balance by Morrie Mullins
Posted February 22nd

For another Dexter fix, read about the work-family balance of Dexter‘s characters with The Psychology of Dexter contributing writer Morrie Mullins.


In my essay for the collection, “The Scientist and the Serial Killer: A Study in Work-Life Balance,” I examined three perspectives on work-family balance as reflected in seasons one-four of Dexter. Season four, as most of us know by now, culminated in the death of Rita, Dexter’s wife, at the hands of Arthur Mitchell/Trinity. Season five picks up at the moment where the prior...

The Death of Independent Dexter
Posted February 16th

As Dexter lover’s avidly await season six, let’s wish a happy belated 40th birthday to Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall and dive into the possible death of an independent Dexter with The Psychology of Dexter contributing writer, Stephen D. Livingston.


My essay “On Becoming a Real Boy” discussed issues of social development and strategic presentation of self. I was excited to see that the latest season of Dexter promised to explore these complex themes, but admittedly a bit disappointed by the overall viewing experience.

In “The Pool...

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