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PSY 201 General Psychology Course Project

Psychopathology in Movies


This project is designed to provide you with an opportunity to evaluate the validity of the depiction of mental disorders in popular movies. You will be graded based on the accuracy, thoroughness, and thoughtfulness of your assessment and evaluation.

Due Date: Please see the course calendar.

Format: Your paper should be typed in APA format using 12 point, Times New Roman font. Please be sure to include a title page with this assignment, including your name, project assignment title, due date, course number and section number.
This paper should be a minimum of five pages in length, not including the title sheet and reference page.

Assignment Details:

1. Movie

Please choose one (1) movie*** from the following list and watch it:

· Sybil (1976), Sally Field; (NR-PG)

· As Good As It Gets (1997), Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt; (PG-13)

· Rain Man (1988), Dustin Huffman, Tom Cruise; (R)

· Girl Interrupted (1999), Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie; (R)

· A Beautiful Mind (2001), Russel Crowe; (PG-13)

· The Soloist (2009), Jaime Foxx, Robert Downy, Jr.; (R)

· Frankie & Alice (2010), Halle Berry; (R)

· Acrimony (2018), Taraji P. Henson; (R)

*** Several of the movies listed above are rated R for adult content. Please review the ratings prior to watching and use your own discretion. If you have concerns about this, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

2. Synopsis

Provide a synopsis of the movie. Be sure to provide enough detail so that someone who has never seen the movie has a general idea of what the movie is about. Do not however, provide so much detail that you end up with a glorified book report. 🙂 Remember, the purpose of this assignment is to evaluate the depiction of psychopathology in popular movies.

3. Assessment and Diagnosis

· Gather the information necessary to assess the character’s mental health status. Be sure to provide your rationale for the diagnosis including the symptoms that meet the diagnostic criteria of the disorder. Make sure that your diagnosis is one included in the DSM 5. Some movies have diagnoses that are not DSM 5 Disorders

· Assess the symptoms as depicted in the movie, including their severity, duration, and frequency.

· Do these symptoms meet the criteria of a DSM 5 diagnosis? Why or why not? If yes, make a DSM 5 Diagnosis of each disorder observed. Make sure that your diagnosis is one included in the DSM 5. Some movies have diagnoses that are not DSM 5 Disorders and you cannot include those in your paper.

· Provide a thorough discussion of treatment options and provide a specific treatment recommendation.

· Please make sure to use at least one research article on the diagnosis, symptoms, and/or treatment of the diagnosis. See the Research Instructions in the Content section


· Is your diagnosis consistent with the diagnosis in the movie?

· To what extent does the movie illustrate a valid picture of the mental disorder?

· Which scenes are especially effective in the depiction of the disorder?

· Were there some scenes which detracted from the effective depiction of the disorder? If so, what about the depiction was inaccurate?

· Provide a general evaluation (conclusive summary) of the movie as it relates to mental disorders.

· Please provide specific examples from the movie whenever possible.

Tips for Writing:

Make an APA title page (see APA Paper Template)

Suggested Headings should be the following (See APA Paper Template)

· Synopsis

· Assessment and Diagnosis

· Treatment Plan

· Evaluation of the movie

How to include the DSM-5 in your Assessment Section:

· Identify the diagnosis you believe is accurate for the character from the DSM-5

· Identify the criteria required to have the disorder (cite the DSM-5)

· List each criterion that the character exhibits and the scene in the movie that depicted that criterion

· Make sure that you have the number required to diagnosis the disorder

What to include for Treatment:

· Use journal articles to identify effective treatments for that diagnosis

· Talk briefly about the treatment and how it is used to treat the disorder or reduce the symptoms

· Recommend a treatment regimen including but not limited to type of medication recommended, type of therapy recommended, or a combination of both

· Identify what would be best for the character given his/her symptoms.

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