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Paper Assignment Overview
You can choose one of the following two types of papers to complete this assignment (3-5 pages):
Psychopathology in the movies:
Much of what the public knows about psychopathology is gleaned from popular media – for good or ill. Thus, it can be useful to turn a critical eye on the media’s representation of mental illness. For this paper you will need to view a recent (i.e., 2005 or later) motion picture which depicts a character with mental illness. In your paper, you will provide a diagnosis of the character with the disorder, discuss the character’s symptomatology, describe any attempted treatment, and provide your analysis of the character’s likely prognosis. You will also need to describe the messages (both positive and negative) the movie provides the public about people with this disorder, as well as the way it characterizes the mental health profession. Finally, you will need to assess the film’s characterization of the disorder in light of our current understanding of the disorder (i.e., Were they accurate? If so, how? If not, what did they get wrong?)
For this assignment you will need to provide at least three citations to support your argument. One citation should be for the movie itself, while the other two should be references to the sources you used to research the diagnosis (your textbook can count as one such source).
A summary of research on a current controversy:
There are many topics in abnormal psychology which remain highly controversial – your job in this paper will be to describe the research in one of these controversial areas and form your own conclusion based on that research.
Some possible controversies you might address include:
Prescription privileges for psychologists
Psychological interventions to “correct” homosexuality
Repressed memory recovery/age regression
Can divorce result in positive impacts on children?
Does video game violence cause real -life violence?
Dramatic rise in prevalence of ADHD diagnosis
Is past trauma a valid justification for committing crimes?
Internet addiction – is it real?
Why do some cope via self-mutilation?
Nootropic medication – is it ethical to develop drugs that improve cognitive functioning in otherwise healthy people?
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of controversies; if you want to investigate a different topic, please see me for approval. You will need to review at least three peer-reviewed, empirical journal articles in your paper, and use the evidence as the basis for forming and clearly expressing your opinion on the controversy.
Paper Format and Grading Criteria
The paper must follow the format below (and comply with APA style) to receive the maximum points. The paper will be graded according to how well the following requirements are met:
For both types of papers: Provide an explanation of the topic of the paper (i.e., the controversy you’ve chosen to review or the movie/character you’ve decided to evaluate), its scope, and the argument that you intend to make.
For the Psychopathology in the Movies assignment:
Describe the character’s behavior as depicted in the movie, their suspected psychopathology, and determine the extent to which that character’s behavior meets the criteria for a DSM-5 diagnosis. You should address whether or not the movie provides an overt diagnosis for the character in question.
Describe any attempted treatment and
provide your analysis of the character’s likely prognosis. You will also need to describe the messages (both positive and negative) the movie provides the public about people with this disorder, as well as the way it characterizes the mental health profession. And be sure to critique the quality of the movie’s depiction of the disorder (did they get it right?).
Controversies in Psychology assignment:
Provide a brief history of the origins of the controversy and describe the competing perspectives of both sides of the controversy. Provide an empirically-based (by using at least 3 empirical articles) review of the arguments in the controversy, and use that information to form your own opinion. Articulate your analysis and choose which side you agree with (or that you most agree with).
For both types of papers: Provide a concise summary of the body of your text, highlighting the key elements of the paper (i.e., the shortcomings of the disorder’s depiction in the movie; the relative lack of empirical data addressing a controversial point; etc.). Clearly state your conclusion(s).
I will be posting an APA-style checklist for you to use in verifying that your paper is APA-style compliant, and this must be included as the first page of the paper. Failure to fully comply with APA style will result in up to a 15% deduction of your paper score. Be thorough in reviewing your paper!
Grammar, clarity, spelling, etc.
Yep – this counts.
I am going to attach the planning activity paper I wrote along with the professor comments below
Professor comments to me: Please tell me exactly what the controversy is – what are the two sides of the argument. Upload that, then email me so I can come back to officially approve it.