Discuss how the treatment and treatment personnel were portrayed in film.

Abnormal Psychology
Psych 11-10
please write this on the movie "Rain Man"…

I need this with a works cited page. Please follow instructions carefully.

H.N. Le, Ph.D.
Fall 2010

Paper 2: Psychopathology in the Movies

Overview: (45 points total; 15% of grade). In this paper, you will be required to critically
examine and integrate your knowledge of psychopathology and apply this to a character in the
movie. Specifically, you will be required to analyze the data (i.e., the movie character) and
make conclusions related to diagnoses, etiologies, and treatments.

Note: 5 points will be deducted for each day the paper is late, including weekends and
holidays. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Posting on blackboard: In addition to handing in a hardcopy of your paper, please post your
paper on Blackboard by 11:59pm on 11/23/10. Go to “Papers”. Under Papers, click Paper 2,
click on View/Complete Assignment: Paper 2 and attach your paper. Also cut and paste the
DSM diagnoses at the end of your paper. If your paper is not posted by 11/23/10, you will
lose an automatic 2 points from your total score.
All graded work must be completed in accordance with The George Washington University
Code of Academic Integrity (http://www.gwu.edu/~ntegrity/code.html).
Page limits: 8 pages total (not including cover page or DSM criteria attachment, type-
written, double-spaced, not more than one inch margins; 12 point font). Write this paper as
a research paper (headings are fine).
Citations & References:
Use APA style to cite your references and within text (for additional examples, see:

Within text:
Sue et al. (2010) describes two etiological models…
Sue et al. (2010) state “the two etiological models are…” (p. 100).
“The two etiological models are … (Sue et al., 2010, p. 100).

**If you include outside citations, then include a reference section.
Sample journal article citation:
Clarke, G. N., Hornbrook, M., Lynch, F., Polen, M., Gale, J., Beardslee, W., O’Connor, E., &
Seeley, J. (2001). A randomized trial of a group cognitive intervention for preventing
depression in adolescent offspring of depressed parents. Archives of General
Psychiatry, 58, 1127-1134.
Sample book citation:
Wahl, O.F. (2003). Media Madness. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
Sample chapter in book citation:
Nezu, A. M., Nezu, C. M., McClure, K. S., & Zwick, M. L. (2002). Assessment of depression. In
I. H. Gotlib & C. L. Hammen (Eds.). Handbook of Depression (pp. 61-85). New York,
NY: Guilford Press.

Outside sources: Use 2 academic sources (articles, book chapters, books) and cite these
additional sources in any section in your paper. Cite these sources using APA style (see above).
In your reference section, you should include the Sue et al. reference and these new ones.

Paper 2.F10


Abnormal Psychology
Psych 11-10

You can choose any movie listed below to write your paper. Choose an appropriate character
from the movie that will provide enough information for you to write all parts of the paper. Some
of these films can be found in Gelman, where you can watch the film at the library.
Ordinary People
Antwone Fisher
Three faces of eve
Rain Man
As good as it gets
Down to the bone
The soloist
Rachel getting married
One Flew over The Cuckoo’s Nest
A Beautiful Mind
What about Bob?
Crazy Heart
I am Sam

Your paper should include all of the following:
1. One paragraph describing the synopsis of the movie (1 point)
2. Diagnosis (12 points total)
a. Using the available data on the character provided in the movie, make a logical
argument for the DSM-IV-TR primary diagnosis you would assign to the character (1
b. Which specific diagnostic criteria you think probably are and are not met, and the
basis for your decisions. Justify your conclusions by including evidence from movie
(It is not enough to cut and paste this information into your paper). You must
integrate the evidence with the diagnosis in order to receive full credit. (4 points)
-The specific DSM-IV diagnostic criteria can be found at the following website:

H.N. Le, Ph.D.
Fall 2010

http://www.psychiatryonline.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1 or
http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/dsm4TRclassification.htm (or any other

website that has the DSM-IV or DSM-IV-TR criteria).
c. Analyze and interpret data from the movie to determine a multi-axial diagnosis of
your character. How would you diagnose your character on Axis I, II, III, IV, V
(include GAF at beginning and at end of movie)? You must give a diagnosis on each
axis. If there is no diagnosis for a particular axis, state “none” or “deferred.” In this
assessment, specify at which time point (e.g., beginning or at end of
treatment/movie) you are providing the diagnosis. You can single space this section
and list by Axis. (2.5 points)
d. Include a copy of the specific DSM-IV criteria from which you used to discuss this
section (for example, for mental retardation, you would print out (or copy and paste
to end of your paper): http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/mentretard.htm (.5

Reference: http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/mentretard.htm
Diagnostic criteria for Mental Retardation
(cautionary statement)
A. Significantly subaverage intellectual functioning: an IQ of approximately 70 or below on an individually administered IQ test (for
infants, a clinical judgment of significantly subaverage intellectual functioning).
B. Concurrent deficits or impairments in present adaptive functioning (i.e., the person’s effectiveness in meeting the standards expected
for his or her age by his or her cultural group) in at least two of the following areas: communication, self-care, home living,
social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety.
C. The onset is before age 18 years.
Code based on degree of severity reflecting level of intellectual impairment:
317 Mild Mental Retardation: IQ level 50-55 to approximately 70
318.0 Moderate Mental Retardation: IQ level 35-40 to 50-55
318.1 Severe Mental Retardation: IQ level 20-25 to 35-40
318.2 Profound Mental Retardation: IQ level below 20 or 25 319 Mental Retardation, Severity Unspecified: when there is strong
presumption of Mental Retardation but the person’s intelligence is untestable by standard tests

e. Critically examine and describe two alternative diagnoses that you considered for
this character (Axis I or Axis II only), and justify for reasoning by comparing and
contrasting the relevant DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for each alternative diagnosis
considered (e.g., what symptoms were overlapping with another disorder?). These
are two additional diagnoses that you considered for your character but ruled out
because your primary diagnosis was more appropriate of your character. (4 points)

Paper 2.F10


Abnormal Psychology
Psych 11-10

3. Etiology (10 points)
a. Provide a logical argument for two possible etiologies/models for the character’s
disorder in the movie.
i. If no etiological factors are depicted in the film, you should state this in your
ii. Regardless, you should form a logical argument based on evidence from the
movie regarding two possible etiological factors that you think may have
contributed to the character’s diagnosis. Your discussion should
demonstrate the integration and application of theoretical perspectives on
etiological factors (models of psychopathology) that are related specifically to
your diagnosis and/or cite outside sources. Refer to specific examples from
the movie and how the disorder might be explained from a particular
etiological model.

4. Treatment (12 points)
a. Analyze information regarding two possible treatments for your character’s disorder,
and discuss the actual or anticipated success of the treatments
i. If no treatments are depicted in the film, you should state this in your paper.
ii. Regardless, discuss whether the treatments (proposed or actual) were
psychological (e.g., psychotherapy, and/or medical/pharmaceutical (e.g.,
medication)? Discuss whether specific types of treatments were used (e.g.,
cognitive behavioral therapy, Prozac, ECT)?
iii. Apply information provided in class and/or from your own outside sources to
critically evaluate effectiveness of the treatments used or proposed. Discuss
how effective these treatments were/can be treating your character’s
disorder. This section of your paper will require you to analyze and evaluate
the appropriateness of existing or proposed treatments for the character’s
disorder, based on specific research citing the effectiveness of such
iv. Discuss how the treatment and treatment personnel were portrayed in film.

5. Ethical considerations: Discuss any ethical issues that arose in the movie in terms of
diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. You must specify any ethical standard/principle that
was met/not met, as portrayed in the movie. You can refer to
www.apa.org/ethics/code.html and chapter 4 (Sue et al., 2010). For example, did the
therapist treat the client ethically, according to the APA standards/principles? Which ones,
how? (4 points)

6. Give your overall opinion regarding the film, including the accuracies and inaccuracies of mental
illness portrayed in the media. Discuss any inaccuracies (including omissions) you could
detect (in symptom presentation, etiology, or treatment). If there were no inaccuracies, you
should also state this. (3 points)
a. Also discuss the movie’s attitudes toward mental illness/mental health
professionals/treatment settings in film characters and in viewer
b. Discuss any changes that you would make to this movie to make character more
sensitively and/or realistically portrayed.


Writing style, grammar, spelling, organization of paper, APA style citations & references,
within page limits (3 points)

H.N. Le, Ph.D.
Fall 2010

Paper 2.F10


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