PSYCH 105 Movie Analysis Paper


For this assignment, you need to watch and analyze a popular movie that has a plot that involves a mental health professional (counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.) and a patient/client who is seeking therapy.


If you are struggling to think of a movie to use, a list of PSYCH movies can be found at Your movie does not have to be on this list, and not all of the movies on this list qualify for this assignment, so I recommend reading the plot summary before watching.


Although you may watch a movie with a friend, you must write your paper on your own.


Please copy the assignment template provided below into a word processor, fill it out, print it, and hand it in. You may add/delete space to respond as needed. Please use 1 inch margins, double spacing, and 12 pt. font. Please save paper by minimizing the amount of blank space between your answers. Printing front-to-back is fine, but not required. Paper length us up to you, but we expect this will take about a page (not including the Works Cited section).


=============================================================Assignment Template=============================================================

Your name:


Do you want us to provide feedback on your paper? ____ Yes or ______No, thank you (This decision will not impact your grade in any way.)


Name of the movie:

Please read through A and B below and answer the set of questions (either set A or set B) that is appropriate for your movie. You must use a credible resource (not Wikipedia or You may not quote or copy/paste information from resources. Paraphrase the information and include an in-text citation in the text of your paper every time you use an idea from your resource. Also, remember to reference the resource in the Works Cited section. Please review the plagiarism section of the syllabus and information found on the websites below.



A) If the movie involves a character with a psychological disorder, use a resource to learn about the disorder and then answer the following questions:

1A. How does the movie represent the disorder accurately? Explain using an example from the movie.








2A. How does the movie misrepresent the disorder? Explain using an example from the movie.







B) If your movie does not involve a character with a psychological disorder, use a resource to answer the following questions:

1B. How does the movie represent psychology accurately? Explain using an example from the movie.







2B. How does the movie misrepresent psychology? Explain using an example from the movie.






Answer both questions below.


3. Which of the labels discussed in class (e.g., Dr. Dippy, Dr. Wonderful, etc.) best describes the mental health professional in your movie? Why? If you believe more than one label applies, thatís fine, just
††† explain. If your movie has more than one mental health professional, please pick one to write about.








4. Is the patient/client portrayed as someone who is socially awkward or generally incompetent? Explain using 2 examples from the movie.







Works Cited/Bibliography (You must include this section)










Submitting Your Paper

We will collect papers in class. In the past, we have had problems with electronically submitted papers. Sometimes papers get lost in cyberspace. Sometimes they come with viruses (included unintentionally). Sometimes they are in formats we cannot open. Please remember - Papers will not be accepted in electronic form without prior permission from the instructor. Please ask before you send. Also, if you gain permission to send electronically, send in RTF (rich text format), DOC (Microsoft Word), or DOCX (Microsoft Word) format and make sure you send the correct version of your paper-- we will grade whatever version you send, even if you send a blank document.



Citing Sources

Regardless of whether or not you know something is true, if something is not common knowledge you must cite a supporting resource. For this class, a good rule of thumb is this - if 9 out of 10 people you find at the mall probably do not know the fact you are writing about (e.g., one symptom of schizophrenia is hallucinations), then you must cite a supporting resource.


Whenever you use ANY resource, you MUST cite it in the body of your paper and include it in your bibliography. You may use APA format if you want to, but you do not have to. Either way, for in-text citations list the author of the source. Include both the title and the author of the source in your bibliography. If you use a website, use the URL (web address) instead of the author for in-text citations. Use the URL in your bibliography. We do check sources.


PLEASE DO NOT PLAGIARIZE -- If you paraphrase an author or use a fact from a source (for example, a fact about the symptoms of a psychological disorder), make sure you credit the author or website!!!! You may not quote copy/paste sources for this paper.



- One symptom of schizophrenia is hallucinations (author).

- Brown was the first researcher to focus on cultural diversity (web address).

- I need to get a doctoral degree to be a practicing psychopharachologist (author).


Avoiding plagiarism is an important part of academic honesty. It is YOUR responsibility to know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Learning about plagiarism is part of this assignment and there will be academic consequences for plagiarism. Heads up-- most students THINK they know what plagiarism is and are surprised when they are penalized for plagiarizing unintentionally. The TAs and I will not accept But, I didnít know it was plagiarism as an excuse. When in doubt, cite the source.


What is plagiarism?
--Youtube video -
--See (PDF)



Common Mistakes to Avoid

Students typically lose points on this assignment because they:

-       Fail to follow instructions

-       Plagiarize (unintentionally)-- they forget to cite sources or forget to include a Works Cited/Bibliography

-       Forget to answer all of the required questions.