Abnormal Psych

  • The paper will be up to 5-7 pages typed, double-spaced. The paper is submitted through CANVAS, but it will go through Turnitin automatically. See special note below for writing help.*   The paper should be based on some popular presentation of psychopathology, in a novel, short story, pop-psychology book, or other media, such as film. We will have an online discussion available to run paper ideas by me. The paper should relate the content of the popular presentation to concepts in class in a thoughtful fashion. I want a demonstration that you are thinking about the concepts in class and applying them So, if you pick a movie, for example, try to pick one with a character who clearly has some sort of abnormality or a situation you could apply psychological concepts to. I don’t want a movie review or a summary of the plot of the movie, but rather your reflections on how well the movie portrayed a disorder and it’s treatment OR how the concepts apply. Just use the movie or book plot for examples. You can see from the rubric that I give most of the points for the application. Also, please be aware that although there may be some internet sources out there which address some movies psychologically, this is to be your original work.  If you do use ANY source cite it, or it is plagiarism.  Here are some examples of older films, but you are welcome to find newer ones:
    • Girl, Interrupted Based on an autobiographical novel by Susanna Kaysen, this film details the experiences of several women as patients in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s. The 1999 film challenges the diagnosis of mental illness and the relationship between diagnosis and social norm violations.
    • Good Will Hunting This Academy Award winning film from 1997 stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Robin Williams and addresses a somewhat unconventional therapy program for a gifted yet troubled young man.
    • King of Hearts From 1966, this “must-see” film is about a Scottish soldier who discovers a town abandoned by everyone except the inmates of an insane asylum.
    • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest From 1975, this film tells the story of Randall P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a convict sent to a northwestern psychiatric hospital for evaluation and treatment. While there, McMurphy experiences first hand the use of electroconvulsive therapy.
    • What About Bob? From 1991, this comedy stars Bill Murray as a neurotic, insecure new patient attempting to see a preeminent psychiatrist (played by Richard Dreyfuss). Failing that, Murray stalks Dreyfuss and his family while they vacation.
    • Mystic River From 2003, Clint Eastwood directed this dark film about three men who shared a childhood trauma. P, serious film Ordinary People This 1980 film examines the treatment of a teenager suffering from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of his brother’s death.
    • As Good As It Gets From 1997, this Academy award–winning film details the trials and tribulations of a writer (Jack Nicholson) dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder. P, comedy
    • The Aviator From 2004, this biopic stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the obsessive Howard Hughes.
    • * For help with writing, and how to format see this library page below. You don’t have to cite things beyond the class and the movie or book you choose, but this guide can lead you to help on APA formatting, avoiding plagiarism, etc. http://libguides.umd.umich.edu/psyc440
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