Lightman tells Torres “you are too close to this to see it clearly,” that her involvement with her sister is blinding her. This is an example of how our commitment to a relationship, whether it is a loving trusting one, or a conflicted distrustful one, blocks our recognition of how that person really feels. Our involvement prevents us from seeing anything that doesn’t fit with our involvement. There has been very little research on this, although it is consistent with a study I did decades ago in which total strangers were more accurate in spotting lies than were the person’s spouse.
Burns was caught in conflict between his professional obligation to Marley, who trusted him by revealing she was pregnant, and his professional obligation to report her pregnancy, which would have resulted in her transfer to another facility. If he had not followed his ethical commitment to Marley, the resulting transfer would have saved her life. Of course he didn’t know that then. He acted honorably but that doesn’t prevent him from feeling guilty about the unexpected consequence.
When Foster gets angry at Torres for disbelieving her sister, Foster shows a near perfect angry expression: eyebrows pulled down, eyes widened, lips squared. Notice also the pulsing vein in her forehead. But, there is a mix of anguish in her face and voice, not an uncommon addition to the anger felt by some women.
Ava explains that she didn’t tell Torres about the egg because she had promised Marley she would keep her secret, and she keeps her promises. Loyalty to a friend is one of the eight reasons why people lie. It is a reason for lying that usually earns some respect, even from the victims of the lie.