Doug over at Groping the Elephant posted on the Casey Anthony trial this morning. The jury’s verdicts of not guilty to murder, manslaughter, and child abuse, have puzzled plenty of folks: Apparently, Anthony was already convicted — by the media — before the jury overturned that popular conviction. But, as Doug notes, the popular conviction of Anthony seems to have been poorly reasoned:
…the thing I most heard about throughout her trial was how guilty she looked, with comments like “she just looks guilty,” “no real mom would have acted the way she did (partying and living it up) while her daughter was missing, which proves she is guilty,” “her facial expressions during testimony shows she really is guilty,” etc.
Of course, those things have nothing to do with whether the woman was guilty, as charged, of murdering her daughter.
Doug’s post — which is worth reading — brought to mind a line of research pursued by John T. Molloy some years ago. I don’t have his account of the research available to me, but if I recall, Molloy had a humane reason for embarking on it.
At one time, he had a gentleman working for him who he found kind of creepy. The man did exceptional work — which is why Molloy refused to fire him. But he was someone who intensely bothered Molloy.
I forget now exactly how it happened, but Molloy eventually caught on to the fact the man was a “mixed signaler”. His facial and body expressions were sadly out of whack with his words. Much like someone who grins when announcing the death of his grandmother, or who frowns when hearing your daughter is getting married to a wonderful man.
Mixed signalers, according to Molloy, were most likely raised to be mixed signalers. That is, they are merely imitating the communication style of their parents or others who were around them as they were growing up. They do it unconsciously and they know no better than to do it.
Unfortunately, mixed signalers are often distrusted by others, and they tend to have life-long trouble making friends and keeping jobs. They tend to get few breaks in life from other people, and — like many folks with exceptionally poor social skills — they sometimes end up dysfunctional. Although, as in the case of the man who worked for Molloy, they also at times learn to partly compensate for their mixed signaling by working very hard at their jobs.
So, since reading Doug’s post this morning, I’ve been wondering whether Casey Anthony might be a mixed signaler. She seems to have some of the most frequent problems of mixed signalers, and so it seems possible to me she might be afflicted with it. But what do you think? Is that a possibility?