In addition to their sheer entertainment value, popular movies often depict psychological disorders. There is certainly no shortage of “Abnormal Psychology movies” available for viewing; however, many provide inaccurate portrayals of psychological behaviors, traits and disorders. This often leads to the public at large having a distorted view of what Psychopathology is or how Clinical Psychologists work. Remember from General Psychology, a major part of becoming a “critical thinker” is becoming a critical consumer of popular information.
Your mission in this assignment is to choose a film with an abnormal psychological theme or issue, research the theme or issue portrayed in the film, and then carefully analyze how well or accurately you believe the movie presented the theme to the viewing audience.
1. Choose a movie from the attached list. I have indicated which are available from the SCC Library. The remainder may be rented from Netflix, a local video store or perhaps borrowed from a friend or family member.
2. View the movie at least once). Even if you have seen the movie previously, watch it again. You will need to pay very close attention to what is being portrayed and you should probably take some notes. They will come in handy later, as you write your paper.
3. Write a reaction/research paper using the following guidelines:
a. In an opening paragraph (or two), summarize the plot of the movie. Remember, this is a summation; I don’t need a description of every scene.
b. Find three to five internet articles that deal with the specific type of psychological disorder/issue portrayed in the movie (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Aversive Therapy, Insanity Defense, etc.) and then write at least three pages on what you have learned from your internet research. You may also use your textbook as one of your sources, if you wish. Make sure to cite your sources in APA style, in the body of your paper and on your reference page. (See my website for examples)
c. In the final portion of your paper, you will analyze (based upon your www.nclive.org internet research) how well you think the movie portrayed its abnormal psychological theme. You will do this by addressing the following questions:
How did the depiction of __________ in the film compare to what you learned in doing your research? Do you believe the film to be of educational value to the general public regarding its psychological content? Was the subject matter treated in a humorous manner? If so, do you think this took away from the seriousness of the psychological disorder being depicted in the film (or did it help by making a serious point without “blowing the audience away”)? Which specific scenes (if any) in the film provided particular insight into the psychological disorder/issue being portrayed? Did you learn anything of value from viewing the film? (If so, what?) Was the film entertaining to watch? Would you recommend the film to others? Why or why not?
4. Papers will be submitted, in class, on the assigned date. There will be a ten-point per day late penalty for papers turned in after that date. Papers are to be submitted in a two pocket report folder. In the left side pocket, place the internet articles used in your research. In the right side pocket, place your paper, which will include a title page, abstract page, text or body of report (5p), and reference page.
5. Papers should be word-processed in MS Word, double-spaced, using a 12-point Times New Roman font and should be at least eight (8) total pages in length if the directions, indicated above, are followed completely. The first section (see 3-a above) and last section (see 3-c above) of your paper will be your own words/opinion and will require no reference citations. HOWEVER, YOU WILL NEED TO CITE YOUR REFERENCES, APA STYLE, IN THE THREE PAGES OF RESEARCH (see 3-b above) WRITTEN FROM YOUR INTERNET SOURCES. NOT DOING SO WILL BE CONSIDERED PLAGIARISM AND WILL SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCE YOUR PAPER’S GRADE!!