Student Assignments - Chapter 12

^ Student Assignments

Abnormal Psychology in Literature: The Eden Express

Michael Gorman suggests that Mark Vonnegut's The Eden Express (an autobiographical account of the author's schizophrenic breakdown) provides an excellent opportunity for Student Assignments - Chapter 12 students to apply abnormal psychology principles from the text and lecture to a real case study. After your students have read the book, ask them to write a paper describing the cause Student Assignments - Chapter 12 and cure of Vonnegut's schizophrenia in terms of the different theoretical perspectives of psychological disorder. Gorman notes that although Vonnegut himself attributes his illness to biomedical factors, there is also evidence to support behavioral Student Assignments - Chapter 12, humanistic, and psychoanalytic theories if one looks hard enough. Importantly, in trying to apply the different perspectives, students should learn the relative strengths and weaknesses of each perspective and also acknowledge Student Assignments - Chapter 12 the importance of multiple perspectives in explaining complex behavior.

Gorman, M. E. (1984). Using ^ The Eden Express to teach introductory psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 11, 39-40.

Vonnegut, M. (1975). The Eden Express. New York: Bantam Student Assignments - Chapter 12 Books.

Abnormal Psychology in Film

Abnormal behavior is a consistently popular subject for feature films; practically every disorder ever discovered has been portrayed at one time or another. For this assignment, ask Student Assignments - Chapter 12 students to write a paper analyzing a character's illness in terms of the theoretical perspectives (e.g., biological, psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, biopsychosocial) presented in the textbook. Students should include in their paper a Student Assignments - Chapter 12 description of the character's diagnosis in terms of the DSM-IV and a discussion of which perspective of mental illness best explains the development of the character's symptoms. If Student Assignments - Chapter 12 applicable, students should describe any treatment received by the character and also comment on whether they would recommend a similar or different treatment. All of the films suggested below contain excellent depictions of psychological Student Assignments - Chapter 12 disorder and should make good choices for this assignment. Note that a few of the films are also noteworthy for their portrayal of the therapeutic process; thus, these are listed in the Student Assignments - Chapter 12 next chapter as well.

Adapted from Chrisler, J. C. (1990). Novels as case-study materials for psychology students. ^ Teaching of Psychology, 17, 55-57.

• David and Lisa (1962). Featuring Keir Dullea and Howard Da Silva, this low Student Assignments - Chapter 12-budget, independent gem presents a sensitive, realistic portrayal of two emotionally scarred teenagers and the painfully slow therapy that enables them to learn how to trust. Two therapy alliances are followed Student Assignments - Chapter 12: one with David (who is neurotic) and his psychiatrist Dr. Swinford, and another with Lisa (who is schizophrenic) and, ironically, David acting as her therapist/friend. Yields powerful insights into disorder Student Assignments - Chapter 12 and therapy (Columbia/TriStar; 94 min). Also available as a book.

Rubin, T. (1986). ^ Lisa and David. Mattituck, NY: Amereon.

• Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990). Michael Rooker stars in this fascinating but grisly look into Student Assignments - Chapter 12 the life of a serial killer (loosely based on real-life Texas murderer Henry Lee Lucas). This unpleasant movie, although not exploitative, depicts several scenes of rapes and murders Student Assignments - Chapter 12 and includes the gruesome reactions of Henry and his roommate. This movie is not for everyone, and should most certainly be optional. Nonetheless, if you think your students can stomach the violence Student Assignments - Chapter 12, they will get some incredible insights into the workings of the mind of an individual with antisocial personality disorder (MPI; 90 min).

• ^ Clean, Shaven (1995). Peter Greene stars in this haunting, disturbing look at the Student Assignments - Chapter 12 world through the eyes of a schizophrenic. Writer/director Lodge Kerrigan masterfully captures the disorientation, confusion, and paranoia of the protagonist’s world as he searches fitfully for his daughter. Along the way we Student Assignments - Chapter 12 share his frustrations at simple tasks such as making a sandwich or pouring sugar in his coffee. We also witness his self-mutilation as he tries to pry a misperceived transmitter/receiver Student Assignments - Chapter 12 set from his scalp and thumb. A good film for generating discussion. (Orion Home Video; 80 min).

• Nuts (1987). Barbra Streisand and Richard Dreyfuss star in this compelling psychological drama. Streisand plays Student Assignments - Chapter 12 a strong-willed prostitute charged with murdering a client who, against the wishes of her lawyer (Dreyfuss) and her family, refuses to plead "guilty by reason of insanity." Your students will likely be Student Assignments - Chapter 12 fascinated by the controversial insanity defense presented in the textbook, and this film provides ample opportunity for students to explore this complex issue in greater depth (Warner; 116 min).

• One Flew Over the Student Assignments - Chapter 12 Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Jack Nicholson stars in this moving drama as Randall P. McMurphy, a rebellious prisoner who stirs things up in a mental hospital after his transfer there. In going Student Assignments - Chapter 12 head to head with the authoritarian Nurse Ratchet, he revives the spirit of the other patients who have been browbeaten into submission by the institution. Although somewhat dated and stereotypical, this surprisingly entertaining Student Assignments - Chapter 12 film portrays a wide variety of deviant behavior and also highlights controversial therapeutic techniques (e.g., prefrontal lobotomy, electroconvulsive therapy), depicts the often inhumane conditions in mental institutions, and contains Student Assignments - Chapter 12 fascinating character studies of McMurphy and the other patients (HBO; 129 min). [Note: This film could also be assigned in the personality chapter as a fascinating case study of the character of sane misfit McMurphy Student Assignments - Chapter 12.]

Kesey, K. (1975). ^ One flew over the cuckoo's nest. New York: New American Library.

• Sybil (1977). Sally Field won an Emmy for her performance in this made-for-TV drama that depicts the Student Assignments - Chapter 12 story of a woman with 17 different personalities. Although at times disturbing, it convincingly portrays the relatively rare condition of multiple personality disorder (also referred to as "dissociative identity disorder"). Importantly, it depicts Student Assignments - Chapter 12 Sybil's adoption of different personalities as an adaptive response to an unbearably abusive childhood, and in doing so provides valuable insights into a unique therapeutic relationship (CBS/Fox; 122 min). Based Student Assignments - Chapter 12 on the book by Flor Schreiber.

Schreiber, F. (1974). Sybil. New York: Warner.

Pop-Up Phobias

Gary Greenberg, Balvis Rubess, and Matthew Reinhart have produced a satirical and creative pop-up book of phobias Student Assignments - Chapter 12. Along with the visual representation of each phobia, there is a textual description of the phobia. Not really an assignment, but a great conversation piece and fun for students.

Greenberg, G., & Rubess, B Student Assignments - Chapter 12. (1999). ^ The pop-up book of phobias. New York: Morrow, William & Company