Psychology 100 Paper Assignment #2: Film Analysis DUE: 11/21/04
Read all of these instructions carefully....
Your assignment is to watch one of the ten films listed below, then write a 4- to 6-page paper describing how two psychological concepts or theories are involved in the film. Start by choosing a film. We have listed the possibilities below, along with a list of some psychological concepts and theories addressed in each film (in parentheses). You?ll need to write about two such concepts (you might identify additional concepts that we have not thought of). Note: The film descriptions below are taken directly from (or adapted from) AThe Internet Movie Database,@ a film resource located at: http://www.imdb.com. At that website, you can find the author of each of these blurbs, as well as movie reviews.
1. As Good as it Gets (obsessive compulsive disorder, prejudice & homophobia, love and attraction). The trials and tribulations of a cranky, bigoted, obsessive-compulsive writer, Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson). After his gay neighbor (Greg Kinnear) is brutally beaten, Udall is entrusted with the care of the neighbor's dog, and he has a difficult relationship with a waitress (Helen Hunt) to add on top of that. What develops is a weekend trip/triangle between these three individuals, and together they learn the true meaning of "the sunny side of life."
2. A Beautiful Mind (schizophrenia, paranoia, intelligence, social relationships: ostracism, love and attraction). This is a biography based on the true life of John Forbes Nash Jr., a math prodigy able to solve problems that baffled the greatest of minds. He made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery B he suffered from schizophrenia. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally - late in life - received the Nobel Prize.
3. Remember the Titans (racism, prejudice, discrimination, contact hypothesis, leadership). Even as late as 1971, Virginia schools were still segregated. In an actual event, one Black and one White high school was closed and the students were all sent to T.C. Williams High School under a federal mandate to integrate. The year is seen through the eyes of the football team. The man hired to coach the Black school is made head coach over the highly successful white coach. The team becomes the unifying symbol for the community as the boys and the adults learn to depend on and trust each other.
4. Stevie (child physical and sexual abuse, the impact of economic deprivation on child development, crime: rehabilitation versus punishment). Directed by Steve James of Oak Park, Illinois, who also directed Hoop Dreams
. In 1995, James returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young boy he had been a 'Big Brother' to ten years earlier. He began a film and a search to discover not only what had happened to Stevie over the past ten years but to understand the forces that had shaped his entire life. Part way through the filming, Stevie is arrested and charged with a serious crime that tears his family apart. What was to be a modest profile turns into an intimate four and half year chronicle of Stevie, his broken family, the criminal justice system and the filmmaker himself, as they all struggle with who Stevie has become.
5. Memento (memory loss, mnemonics, grief). Leonard (Guy Pearce) is an insurance investigator, whose memory has been damaged following a head injury he sustained during his wife's murder. He can no longer form new memories. His quality of life has been severely hampered after this event, and he can now only live life by tattooing notes on himself and taking pictures of things with a Polaroid camera. The movie is told in forward flashes of future events that compensate for his unreliable memory, during which he has liaisons with various complex characters. Leonard badly wants revenge for his wife's murder, but, as numerous characters explain, there may be little point if he won't remember it.
6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo=s Nest (clinical disorders, treatment of the mentally ill, social and clinical construction of psychological disorder). McMurphy has been dating a fifteen-year-old and is convicted for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Rather than spend his time in jail, he convinces the guards that he's crazy enough to need psychiatric care and is sent to a hospital. He fits in frighteningly well, and his different point of view actually begins to cause some of the patients to progress. Nurse Ratched becomes his personal cross to bear as he resists the hospital routine.
7. Rain Man (autism, dealing with mentally ill family members). Charley is a hustler who uses people. He finds that the father who threw him out as a teenager has died and left him an antique convertible and something more important, a previously unknown brother, Raymond. Raymond is an autistic Asavant,@ disabled in many ways, but able to calculate complicated mathematical problems in his head with great speed and accuracy. Their father has left his fortune to Raymond who doesn't even understand what money is for. Charley is enraged by what has happened and by his father keeping Raymond's existence from him for his entire life. He kidnaps Raymond and the two begin a long road trip that will lead them to an understanding of each other.
8. The Other Sister (intellectual disability/mental retardation, community assistance). When Carla Tate, now a young woman, is 'graduated' out of the training school where she has resided for many years because she is mentally challenged, her hope is that she will be accepted for all that she can now do for herself. But Carla's family is wealthy which permits her mother, already blinded to her daughter's rather high-functioning abilities, to try and provide for Carla beyond her needs or desires, bringing forth the inevitable confrontations. What Carla may lack in mental ability she certainly makes up for in her insistence on being independent, even living in her own apartment. But if this isn't enough, into the mix comes a young man, equally challenged mentally, who moves Carla beyond anyone's control.
9. Schindler's List (racism, religious intolerance, obedience, helping and altruism). Oskar Schindler is a vain, glorious and greedy German businessman who becomes unlikely humanitarian amid the barbaric Nazi reign when he feels compelled to turn his factory into a refuge for Jews. Based on the true story of Oskar Schindler who, at great risk, managed to save about 1100 Jews from being gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. A story of good and evil.
10. Ticket to Heaven (cults, conformity, social influence, obedience to authority, leadership, religion, attitude change, persuasion). After his girlfriend of many years leaves him, David participates in a summer camp in the country. He doesn't realize that it's a training camp for a fanatic religious sect. He can't resist the pressure of permanent group sessions, denial of sleep and food for long, and he becomes a willing slave of the organization. Their "father's" motto is: "Stay up, earn money, destroy the Satan!" - Satan, that's everyone who's against the sect. Members are shown how to kill themselves in case their parent kidnap them. When David's old friend Larry finds him in the camp, he can't believe how much he's changed. He works out a plan to free him and give him back his brain.
Writing the paper:
Your paper must be a clear, logical, grammatically correct essay in which you demonstrate your understanding of two psychological concepts and theories by applying them to explain events or characters or actions in the movie. (You can discuss more than two if you like, but two must be discussed in detail as per instructions below). You need to show us that you understand the two psychological theories or concepts, and you must discuss how they are portrayed correctly or incorrectly in the film and/or how you could apply the concept or theory to explain something about the film.
Your paper should take the form given below. Use these exact headings in your paper, plus any other subheadings that you think help clarify your text (headings and subheadings help organize your paper). When we grade your paper, we will assess points for each of these sections.
Brief statement of the topic of your film and a brief introduction of the 2 or more psychological concepts that you will discuss in relation to the film.
II. Plot review
Brief review of the film=s plot in general. This should focus on only the aspects of the film that a naive reader (someone who has not seen the film) would need to understand before he or she reads your analysis of how the psychological concepts or theories are illustrated in the movie. This need not be long: The point of this paper is to showcase your ability to understand and apply psychological concepts B not to showcase your movie review skills.
III. Psychological concept #1.
A. Describe one specific psychological issue or concept that is illustrated in the film or one theory that you will use to explain something in the film. Give a very detailed explanation/definition of the concept or theory using your textbook, the Annual Editions reader, and/or lecture notes. (Don=t simply label a behavior or event in the film, describe the issue or concept or theory in detail.) This must be in your own words B absolutely no quoting directly from outside sources (although you may quote from dialogue in the film). You may discuss information from outside sources if you want, but those sources must be properly cited. Your explanation of the concept must be so clear that someone who has never had a class in psychology would be able to understand the concept.
B. Describe exactly how that concept is illustrated in the film or how the theory can be applied to understand something in the film. You can apply theories or concepts to characters, events, etc. Describe exactly how the film did or did not illustrate the psychological concept or theory accurately. Did the film get it right, or did the filmmaker take Aartistic licence@ in portraying the concept? How was the film accurate, how was it inaccurate in portraying the concept or theory? Are the events or actions in the film consistent with or predicted by psychological theory, or would psychological theory have predicted different outcomes or actions? If a clinical disorder was portrayed in a character, was it portrayed accurately or inaccurately? How? Does this film teach the public correctly about the psychological issue, or not? If you could add a commentary to the end of the film, what would you say to the audience to ensure that they have a scientific understanding of the issue? Be careful to address these questions with solid scientific evidence about the concept or theory B do not use your own personal experiences or opinions, if your opinions are not based on scientific evidence.
[Note: This section will be the longest part of your paper, because it is the most important part (and will therefore count the most points). This is where you give your scientific but creative analysis of the film using what you have learned in this course.]
IV. Psychological concept #2.
[Repeat A & B above for the second concept or theory.]
A. Wrap up your paper with a few sentences that tie everything together and reiterate the main one or two points you wanted to make in this paper.
VI. Reference page
Cite all the sources you consulted. See Writing Tips for format.
The Specific Format and Style for Your Paper
You need to use the basics of American Psychological Association format when you type your paper. This refers to a standardized method for organizing your paper and for writing and reference style (from the APA Publication Manual). It is not necessary to get that manual, because we have listed the most important points below, and we have posted an example paper on the Blackboard site. Your paper must be 4 - 6 double-spaced, single-sided pages with 1" margins and 12 point font. Your paper must be stapled--one staple in the top left corner. The paper must conform to the rules in your Writing Tips handout and herein. The title page and reference page do not count in the 4 - 6 page total. Your paper must include a title page, a running head, and a reference section. Each of these is described below.
1. Title Page: The title page is double spaced, as is everything in the rest of your paper. Your title should appear approximately two-thirds of the page up from the bottom. Your name should be directly under this. Both the title and your name are centered, neither is underlined. At the top of the page, on the first line of the page, type the following phrase flush against the left margin: Running head: A Few Significant Words of Your Title (see below). At the bottom of the page, add your TA's name and the time and day of your section.
2. Running Head: The running head is the first few words of your title. You already put this at the top of your title page (see above). You put it there to alert the reader to expect it on every page of the paper. Specifically, it goes at the top right hand corner of every page, with the page number directly to the right.
3. Main Text: The main text needs to be 4 - 6 full pages long (this excludes references and title page) and it should follow the outline described above. The body of your paper needs to be double-spaced, and left justified. Do not center the entire paper and do not use right justification. See the writing handout for specifics about writing style, margins, fonts, etc.
4. Giving Credit: As discussed in the writing handout, you must give credit to authors whose ideas or research you reference. It is best to use no direct quotations, period. If you use an idea, you cite the idea like this: Researchers have found that tomatoes grow well in good dirt (Jones, 1983). Many times an article that you refer to will have more than one author. The first time that you refer to an article in text, you cite each author, like this: (Jones, Thomas, & Smith, 1983). Each time you refer to the same article again, you will use an abbreviation of the citation. Specifically, the words "et al." (Latin for "and others") will take the place of every name after the first author in these instances, like this: (Jones et al., 1983). This is not true for articles authored by only two people, like (Jones & Smith, 1993). You cite it like that throughout the paper. Note the use of commas in these examples.
5. Reference Page: The reference page is the last page of your paper. It includes a list of all the articles or books you cited in your paper, but none that you never cited within the text. Every time you reference someone in the body of your paper, the location of that information must appear in the reference section so that those who are interested can find the same information. The reference page begins with the word Reference centered at the top of the page (the word is not underlined). The entire reference page is double spaced like every other section. Each article should be listed in alphabetical order, using the author's last name. See writing handout for specific examples. It is important that you do all underlining, capitalization, and abbreviation correctly.
[ Order Custom Essay ]
[ View Full Essay ]