This short research paper consists of two parts: knowledge of a psychological disorder and a critical
analysis of a movie that portrays a psychological disorder. Movies can provide you with an opportunity to
test what you are learning by critically evaluating the accuracy of the portrayals. You are to choose a
movie in which a psychological disorder is portrayed, making sure to compare, contrast, and discuss the
accuracy of Hollywood?s version of the psychological disorder. The paper should demonstrate your knowledge
and understanding of the disorder. The topic ought to be researched properly, using reputable sources
(books, journals, certain Internet sites, and your textbook). You must use more than one source and you
should not rely on your book. Make sure you discuss your choice of movie and approach to the paper with me
before starting. Your paper will be graded mostly on the depth and accuracy of your analysis, as well as on
the quality of your writing style. When citing sources other than the movie (i.e., definition of the
disorder and issues related to treatment, make sure to include the references, according to APA style.)
Below is a guide to help you think about your paper, your approach to writing, and some questions that you
should consider. By no means are these the only things you should consider. I want you to see the movies
through a psychologist?s eyes and use what you have learned in class to understand all aspects of the
possible disorder, but more importantly to have a solid understanding of the human being who is being
I. State and explain the psychological disorder you will be studying according to the DSM-IV classification
and description given in your book and/or other sources that you will review. Make sure you use your own
words and follow the APA style when referencing the materials.
?A. Your paper should be a critical analysis of a specific disorder, which will include the following:
? Etiology (causes of the illness)
? Course of the illness (age of onset, duration, etc.)
? Criteria for diagnosis and axis in which it is diagnosed, according to the DSM
? Treatment options and probability of recovery.
II. Choose and watch a movie that you feel reflects the diagnosis of which you are writing. Make sure to
give the following information before describing the plot:
? Name of movie, Year movie released, Director (optional)
? Character studied: the name of the character in the film and the actor?s name)
? DSM-IV Disorder portrayed
A. Hollywood?s portrayal of the disorder, addressing the following issues or questions:
1. Provide a brief summary of the movie to provide context.
2. What aspects of the disorder were portrayed? How well was the disorder portrayed?
3. Is there a particular scene that is a good portrayal of the disorder?
4. What aspects of etiology (causes) of the disorder or treatment were presented?
5. Could there be elements of more than one diagnosis? How would you go about ?ruling out? another possible
6. Were there inaccuracies? Explain.
III. Conclusion ? What do you think about Hollywood portraying psychological disorders?
?A. Given what you now know of the disorder, does the movie or its ending reflect the illness, its
progression, and possibility of recovery?
B. Is this film a good example for students learning about psychological disorders? Why or why not?