In addition to entertaining us, movies offer detailed portrayals of human social behavior. Your task in this assignment is to analyze — from a social-psychological perspective — the behaviors and events depicted in one of the films listed below. You are not being asked to critique the film in terms of its value as a work of art or as entertainment. Rather, you should think carefully about the human actions and events portrayed in the film. Then, to make sense of this material, apply what you’ve learned this semester regarding the factors that predict and explain human social behavior. This assignment is comprehensive: Use any/all concepts encountered in this course that relate to the issues, interactions, and behaviors portrayed.
Written responses should be at least 4 full pages. Submit via Blackboard by the deadline.
Your paper should be in APA style, and you will see from the grading rubrics that I will deduct points for those deviating from APA style. For some help in determining APA style, see:
• Degelman & Harris’ APA Style Essentials• An excellent APA crib sheet from my alma mater, Georgia Southern University.• A nice FAQ from Purdue for how to cite odd materials (e.g. lecture notes).• The official APA Style website from the APA. It mostly wants to sell you products.• Psych Web’s excellent list of internet APA style resources
Always, always, without fail, keep a copy of your paper.
Choose a movie to watch (the following are recommended, but not required). Please choose a movie that is new to you.
You may not choose Zootopia or Edward Scissorhands.
• Experimenter (2015)• The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)• Hidden Figures (2016)• Sing Street (2016)• TiMER (2009)• North Country (2005)• That Thing You Do (1996)• Get Out (2017)• According to Greta (2009)• Edward Scissorhands (1990)• Swimfan (2002)• The Big Sick (2017)
Find and discuss three or more social psychology concepts present in the movie. For each concept that you identify:
• Briefly describe the relevant scene (you may assume that your reader has seen the film)• Provide detailed examples from dialogue or a situationto show how the concept is present• Describe in detail the social-psychological principle you believe is relevant. Your job here is to demonstrate that you understand the principle or theory, and that you can describe it in your own words. An occasional quote from your text or another source is fine, but for the most part, you should be conveying your knowledge without the aid of others’ words. You don’t need to do library research for this – using your text or your lecture notes as resources is fine – but remember the rules about avoiding plagiarism! It’s best if you are specific about the principles you discuss. For example, don’t just indicate that your scene illustrates helping, or conformity, or persuasion, or aggression. Instead, indicate what specific theory, or principle or aspect of helping/conformity/persuasion/aggression, etc. that your scene illustrates.• Elaborate on how the selected scene illustrates the principle you have identified. It’s also ok to write about how a scene might fails to follow predictions derived from the social-psychological principle or theory. Where possible, make reference to how your scene maps onto specific research findings (for example, describe how the scene is similar to or different from relevant experiments you’ve read or heard about). It’s very important that you do more than simply say something like “this scene illustrates conformity.” You must be specific on precisely how and in what form the scene illustrates conformity, or how it fails to support what you learned about conformity in the class.• Be sure to include a short Introduction to orient the reader, as well as a short Discussion to tie things together.
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