This assignment provides an opportunity to apply psychological theory in the exploration of a book or film. Choose a film or book of special interest to you. Make sure the book or film has content that can be meaningfully explored through application of psychological theory and research. You might want to look ahead at some of the later chapters in your text that deal with emotion, motivation, personality, the development of the individual over the life span, health and stress, and psychological disorders and treatment, so that you have a more complete idea of the different concepts that might apply.


For example, you might pick a movie or book in which the main character suffers from some psychological disorder, or perhaps is merely trying to cope with the everyday stressors of life. You might discuss the kinds of defense mechanisms this person uses, or perhaps refer to developmental stages in the person’s life that might have been important, or discuss the effects of abuse, alcoholism and addiction, etc. You can approach the subject matter from different perspectives—psychoanalytical, biological, behavioral, cognitive, and/or sociocultural. You could discuss the role emotion, memory, or motivation plays in the character’s development, or the importance of the environment, and such influences as racism and sexism.


This is a research-based paper. The film or book provides only the backdrop for your research on some psychological topic. Be sure to use at least one psychological, peer-reviewed reference in addition to your textbook. You will receive more information later in the course about how to find references and the type of references you should use.

As a guide, your paper should be 1,200 to 1,500 words. This is approximately 5 double-spaced-pages. Below you will find the grading rubric and criteria that will be used to grade your paper.

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