Social Psychology On Film Major Perspectives Of Social Cultural Learning |

Social Psychology Paper Assignment – Social Psychology in Film

For this paper, you will watch a film and analyze it from the social psychological perspective. First, pick a film you would like to analyze and watch it. After watching your film, you will need to identify THREE specific concepts from class that are illustrated in this film.

(Specific concepts means something more than just “attitudes” or “prejudice”. For

example, if you wanted to discuss a concept associated with attitudes, you could discuss the

disconnect between attitudes and behaviors, the experience of cognitive dissonance, or

sources of attitudes.)

In your paper, you need to clearly explain your three concepts and how they can be seen in the movie. You will need to provide a specific description of how the concept is conveyed. For example, if it is part of the plot explain how. If it is part of the character development, behavior in a scene, evident in dialogue or something else explain how the concept is illustrated. Lastly, you will need to assess whether or not the film portrays social psychology accurately – here it is helpful to think of some of the experiments we talked about in class. Do the experimental findings support the depiction of your social psychological concepts in the film?

Almost any film will work for this assignment, but only some can be used.

• Your film should be fiction, and therefore cannot be a documentary or one based on true

events. Additionally, you


use the following films for this assignment:


12 Angry Men, American History X, Fight Club, Shrek, The Breakfast Club


If you disregard this direction, you will get a 0 on your final paper, no


General details:

Your paper should be roughly 5-6 typed pages, assuming regular font-size, margin and 1.5 spacing. Please focus more on content than length – make sure that you include and explain all of the relevant material.

While the structure of your paper may vary slightly, you should plan on having the following paragraphs:

• Introduction for paper

• Brief overview of film (the key word here is brief – focus on a summary that includes only important aspects)

• Identification and explanation of concept 1

• Evidence for concept 1 in film

• Identification and explanation of concept 2

• Evidence for concept 2 in film

• Identification and explanation of concept 3

• Explanation for concept 3 in film

• Assessment of accuracy in film depiction of concepts

• Concluding paragraph

**Continued below.

Copyright © 2019 R. Wanic. All rights reserved. Additional Paper Guidelines and Grading Rubric

Below is a rubric indicating the point breakdown for your final paper. All papers should start with an introductory paragraph, followed by the main sections of the paper, and end with a concluding paragraph.

You are being graded on content and clarity. Make sure to read and re-read your paper, keeping an eye on organization, coherence of ideas, and clarity in explanations. It is probably helpful to have someone else (such as a thoughtful friend, parent or the Writing Center) read through your paper at least once to provide you with feedback as well.

Grading Rubric



Details (what I will be basing the score on)



– Provides an introduction to the paper

– Identifies the main elements that will be discussed



– Provides a brief description of the main ideas/plot elements of the movie

– Summary is concise and clear

Connection to Social Psych


For each element of social psychology Provides a brief, clear description of the concept Descriptions are presented in own words Provides a clear and accurate assessment of how this concept is illustrated in the film



– Provides an accurate and clear assessment of the accuracy in the concepts displayed in the film

– Adequate explanation provided for why conclusions are drawn

Clarity and Organization


– Writing is clear and effective

– Paper has been proofread and contains minimal typos, punctuation errors, or grammatical issues

– Ideas are organized effectively

– No extraneous material is included

Continued on next page.

Copyright © 2019 R. Wanic. All rights reserved. Although not required, it might be helpful to organize your paper using subheading. For example:

Title of Paper

Begin with your introductory paragraph.

Summary of Movie Provide a brief summary of the main ideas or plot elements from the movie. This section should not be longer than one paragraph – if it is, you are not effectively SUMMARIZING.

Connection to Social Psychology Concept 1. Describe the first concept in one paragraph (using your own words). And in another paragraph, explain how it is illustrated in your movie.

Concept 2. Describe the second concept (using your own words). And in another paragraph, explain how it is illustrated in your movie.

Concept 3. Describe the third concept (using your own words). And in another paragraph, explain how it is illustrated in your movie.

Critique/Analysis Provide an assessment of whether the social psych concepts are displayed accurately in the film. Make sure to explain why you came to the conclusion that you did.

Conclusion End with a concluding paragraph that summarizes your main ideas throughout the paper.

Additional details:

• Papers should be roughly 5 pages, assuming regular font size and double-spacing. Please note that I am less concerned about length and more concerned about the quality and content. Papers will be graded based on whether or not the appropriate information is included as well as on the clarity of your communication. Please make sure that you re-read and proof-read your paper before submitting it.

• If you make reference to the textbook, lecture, or other resource, please make sure to include intext citations along with a reference page in APA style. Please note that it is not necessary to reference external sources.

• Plagiarism will NOT be tolerated. You need to write all ideas using your own words. Papers that contain plagiarized elements will be given a zero!

• Papers are due by the end of the day (11:59pm) as indicated on the syllabus. Late papers will NOT

be accepted for any reason.

Copyright © 2019 R.


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