• PAPER: March 30th, 2022, submit on Moodle.
  • 1 DISCUSSION BOARD QUESTION: March 30th, 2022, submit on Moodle.
  • 2 DISCUSSION BOARD RESPONSES: April 6th, 2022, submit on Moodle.

FORMAT: You will select and watch a movie that includes a fictional depiction of a mental disorder – I will provide you with a list of 3 pre-approved movies to select from (see list below). You will compare the symptoms of that mental disorder as portrayed in the movie to the information found in your textbook and one other academic source. The movie analysis will be 4 pages in length in APA format (e.g., double-spaced, Times New Roman, font size 12) – INCLUDING the title page and reference list. The paper will be structured accordingly:

  • Title page (1 page)
  • Movie Analysis (2 pages MAXIMUM: double-spaced, Times New Roman, font size 12)
  • References (1 page)


Recalling and memorizing concepts about abnormal psychology is the easy part but evaluating and analyzing concepts regarding is far more challenging. Each student must submit a paper (Part 1) and a discussion board question and two discussion board responses (Part 2) for a total of 20% of your final grade. Be sure to check the guidelines. For this paper, you need to watch one of the following movies (listed below in Part 1) and answer the reflection questions about them in an essay format. Your essay should provide a comparison of how psychological disorders are presented in movie versus what you have learned about how they manifest and are treated in real life – based on information in your class textbook and one academic peer-reviewed article about the mental disorder portrayed in the movie (PART 1).


  • Become more familiar with different mental disorders via its portrayal in a movie.
  • To think critically about the movie’s depiction.
PART 1 (10%)


You will view a movie in which a main character struggles with some form of psychopathology and make sure that your paper answers the following prompts outlined “Reflection Prompts/Questions”. Your essay should provide a comparison of how psychological disorders are presented in movie versus what you have learned about how they manifest and are treated in real life – based on information in your class textbook and one academic peer-reviewed article about the mental disorder portrayed in the movie


Select and watch a movie from the list provided. Please make sure that your paper addresses the reflection prompts/questions below. Please provide some evidence or a rationale to support your answers – reference your textbook and academic peer-reviewed article. Your responses should demonstrate not only that you saw the movie, but also a thoughtful, cogent argument for why you answered the way that you did.


  • Girl Interrupted
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Silence of the Lambs


  1. Summarize the movie. Clear evidence that you watched the movie.
  2. Please select one character from the movie. What disorder/disorders were depicted?

Character: ________

Disorder(s): _______

  1. Describe some of this character’s behaviors (2-3) that are indicative of “abnormality” or “impairment” (for the individual and/or others).
  2. (a) Did the representation appear plausible or did it appear to be dramatized/used for entertainment purposes – why or why not?

NO direct quotes are allowed in this analysis. Make sure to paraphrase content in your own words, then cite the source(s). For APA citation resources, please visit Purdue Owl: Please read the details carefully. The bulk of your essay writing should not exceed two pages in length (Times New Roman, font size 12, double spaced). Then you will also include a title page and a reference list (Title = 1 page title and References = 1 page). A total of 4 pages in length!


Locate one peer-reviewed academic journal article related to the mental disorder portrayed in the movie you selected. The article you select for this paper will need to come from academic journal, for example, the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, which is one of the premier journals in the field of clinical psychology. This journal is part of the PsycARTICLES database which can be accessed through KPU library:

To find you’re your article, please use the online databases such as Ebsco and/or Proquest (available at You may access the databases from on campus or at home. Please check the appropriate box in each database to ensure that you find the right kind of article (In Proquest, check the “Scholarly journals, including peer-reviewed” box. In Ebsco, the box you check depends on the particular Ebsco database you are using. See me or a librarian if you have questions).

You may also use the “Summon Search” option to search key words, e.g., “antisocial personality disorder”, just make sure you’re selecting peer-reviewed articles. Articles from newspapers (e.g., New York Times), popular magazines (e.g., Psychology Today, Newsweek, Time), book reviews from academic journals, or websites not affiliated with academic journals are NOT acceptable for this assignment and students will lose points if these kinds of articles are selected. If you have any questions about the appropriateness of your articles or are having trouble finding what you want, please ask me or one of the librarians for help.

PART 2 (10%)


(a) On the same day the movie analysis paper is due, March 30th, 2022, each student should also submit a critical and open-ended discussion question on our Moodle website regarding the movie as it relates to the course material on mental illness (NOT a “yes/no” type of question). Write in formal language, in full sentences, and make sure to spell-check/edit your discussion question before posting it on Moodle. Your question should not exceed 50 words. I would strongly suggest that you write your question in a Word document, save it, then copy and paste it over to Moodle to make sure you have a back-up copy. These questions are meant to initiate a thoughtful and fulsome discussion on the movie, mental illness, and the media.

(b) Over the course of the following week, each student will post at least two relies to your classmates to generate an active, engaging, and intellectual discussion on mental illness as it is portrayed in the movies. Please do not exceed 100 word per response. Also, please be respectful and kind of your classmates. The responses are due April 6th, 2022.

  • Reflection Prompt 1 = ____/5 points
  • Reflection Prompt 2 = ____/5 points
  • Reflection Prompt 3 = ____/20 points
  • Reflection Prompt 4 = ____/20 points
  • Discussion Board Question = ____/20 points
  • Discussion Board Response 1 = ____/15 points
  • Discussion Board Response 2 = ____/15 points
  • LATE PAPERS receive a 10% deduction per day.

Total score = ____/100 points


PAPER + DISCUSSION BOARD FEEDBACK: I make every effort to provide prompt feedback over the course of the semester on exams and written assignments (expect a 2 week turn-around time). I have learned through scientific research (and experience) that specific feedback is rarely reviewed, and rarely incorporated, by students. Thus, I will only provide a grade on assignments unless you advise on your submission that you would appreciate feedback. Please indicate on your title page by your name that you would like detailed feedback on your paper and/or your discussion board question/responses.

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