abnormal psychology in movies

Assignment Description: Movie Analysis paper

Movie “Review” Paper Purpose: This writing project will help you to apply the knowledge you are gaining about abnormal psychology and further develop critical thinking as you interact with media. This assignment will help you to achieve at least the following course student learning outcomes: 

 be more acquainted with basic terminology and vocabulary of abnormal psychology

  able to compare and contrast the major perspectives dealing with abnormal behavior. 

able to apply some of the principles of abnormal psychology to a real life situation. 

 be more acquainted with some of the misconceptions connected with the areas of abnormal psychology.

  Increase critical thinking, application, and presentation skills. 

Getting Started:

  Choose a movie with an abnormal psychology theme. 

In each week’s packet, I provide “other resources” about the week’s topic

Some websites that may also help you find a movie are: http://www.psychmovies.com/ http://www.all-about-psychology.com/psychology-movies.html http://www.smccd.edu/accounts/merrill/PSYCHOLOGY%20AND%20MOVIES.htm 

 These lists are not exhaustive. There are many contemporary movies with psychological themes. You could also consider a classic film, there are many greats with abnormal psychology issues in the plot. If you are unsure whether a movie you would like to use would work for this project, please post it in the discussion forum I created for discussing this project. Also, not every movie listed on those sites will be appropriate for this paper. I want everyone to post their choice in that forum to make sure it will work for the assignment. Most students make the topic of their paper a psychological disorder. However, you may also use a film that portrays issues related to abnormal psychology such as treatment, therapist/client relationships, social issues, political and legal issues, etc. For example, if you were to choose One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as your film, it may be easier to discuss issues about mental health institutions than to try to pinpoint a particular disorder to discuss.  Watch the movie critically! Any movies you pick should all be readily available through local video rental stores, Netflix or other online services, libraries, or borrowed from someone who owns it – don’t make this assignment too difficult by trying to find an obscure movie. PSY 205 Instructor: Eltzroth 2/6/2015 Writing your paper: In your paper, your goal is to analyze the movie’s portrayal of abnormal psychology themes. You will want to compare the portrayal to what you have learned about the disorder or abnormal psychology issues from class materials, the textbook, case studies, and other sources. In addition to the movie and textbook as sources for your paper, you may use the case studies when relevant. You should also use other sources to strengthen your analysis. 

For example, you may find commentaries about your movie’s portrayal, other sources about the disorder or issue, and academic articles about the disorder or issue. Be sure to include all sources in your reference list. Here is an outline for the content of the paper: 1. Catchy introduction (1 paragraph) – should include the purpose of your paper 2. Brief discussion of the abnormal psychology related topic (e.g. define and describe the disorder) (1-2 paragraphs) 3. Movie Summary (2-3 paragraphs). Briefly describe the main characters and plot. I have probably seen the movie, so I do not need a detailed account of every scene! This section should only provide the context for the rest of your paper. This should be in your own words-if you give me a description from IMDB for example, I will consider it plagiarism! 4. An analysis around at least 3 clearly defined ideas or themes. (1-2 pages). For example, you could discuss three symptoms of the disorder portrayed in the movie. Other examples of themes may be to discuss how others reacted to the character, how treatment is portrayed, legal issues, ethical issues, or  reflected from society. Throughout this section, show critical thinking. Was the movie misleading? Did it portray a disorder incorrectly? 5. Your opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of the portrayal, including a general discussion about how mass media portrays topics in abnormal psychology. (2-3 paragraphs) 6. Conclusion Format:  You should use APA format. This means: o Cover page o Running head on every page with a few descriptive words from your title and page numbers o APA citations of your movie and other sources you use for the paper, including your textbook o 1 inch margins o Double spacing, 12 point font o Reference page listing your sources in APA style o Headings – Bold a descriptive title for headings for the sections of your paper. This will help you clearly define the 3 themes you are using for your analysis.


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