The focus of this paper is psychological disorders. Your paper must include the following:
- Pick a character from a movie, television show, or book that you believe or could argue has a psychological disorder (or close to) and diagnose him/her. Provide a detailed description of the character and their cognitive, personality, emotional and/or behavioral patterns that form the basis from which your diagnosis is made. (While you can address the issue of comorbidity, you do not have to.)
- You must research the DSM-V Diagnostic Criteria for the disorder you are dealing with and while I do not expect y’all to follow the diagnostic criteria perfectly, you are required to consider how a diagnosis is professionally made for the disorder and therefore make mention of how your character does or does not qualify for the diagnosis according to the standards set forth by the DSM. Include strong reasoning as to how your diagnosis is valid/warranted.
- Patterns of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions are deemed abnormal or pathological based on four reasons: deviance, dysfunction, distress, and danger. Make reference to the role of at least two of these in your diagnosis, your claim of abnormality/pathology. If you choose deviance, consider the importance of context (cultural, social, developmental, etc.) in making a diagnosis. In other words, speak to this idea that “something is only abnormal in light of what is normal.”
- While this is supposed to be a fun assignment, please keep in mind the power of a diagnosis/label and the care and responsibility that must always be taken when diagnosing. Things to consider in regard to this are issues such as the potential stigmatizing effects of a label and self- fulfilling prophecies.
- Consider treatment. What is considered to be the most effective treatment for the disorder? If you were the psychologist, what treatment plan would you propose?
- Tie in at least one other area of psychology we studied this semester (ex. Stress and Health Psychology, Biopsychology, The Brain, Behaviorism, Psychoanalysis, Social Psychology, etc).
- Back to reality. Consider the disorder you have chosen and any related social responsibility issues. Is there a need for more research, treatment advancements, stigma reduction, social support, increased awareness, etc. when it comes to the disorder you are studying and those that struggle with it? Be specific.
Choosing a topic:
You must give me a topic, brief explanation of said topic (see below), and at least one peer reviewed journal by the Paper Topic deadline set for your course. Submit this via Canvas. Feel free to talk to me about your topic and paper.
1) Who is your character?
2) What is your diagnosis?
3) Do they meet the DSM criteria for the disorder? How so?
4) Are any of the 4 Ds present? Which ones?
5) What other area of psychology are you going to tie in?
6) Provide one peer reviewed journal you will be using.
You can absolutely get creative with this. If a diagnosis does not quite fit, that’s ok…you can 1) alter or exaggerate the character and their patterns to make the diagnosis work–just make sure you note that you are doing that or 2) explain that the character does not quite meet the diagnostic criteria and make note of what is missing/what would have to be different for them to fully warrant a diagnosis. It’s really cool when someone picks a character and diagnosis that isn’t super obvious! I totally support y’all getting creative! Talk to me if you have any questions. Know if it’s a common character example, lots of others have done papers on them in the past and the thoughts presented in these papers end up seeming like plagiarized reasoning/thoughts to me. It’s so cool when you pick a unique character and diagnosis and it’s obvious the work is your own analysis!
Note: You may not know much about your topic. That’s ok. Reading broadly will help. You can fish around on the web and talk to “real live sources,” people who are knowledgeable on the topic. Looking at some general sources like textbooks, handbooks, etc. might help. Doing a review of the literature on the topic, through the databases, is a great step to take. I am also always here for any needed guidance!
Extra Credit Opportunities:
- Speak to/interview a source that has knowledge on the topic, either a professional or someone who has dealt first hand with your topic. Tie the knowledge you gained from this interview into your paper. You will have to provide proof of the interview.
- Take your paper to the writing lab.
- 1250-word MINIMUM
- At least 4 credible academic sources should be used to support your writing. One of these sources must be a peer-reviewed journal from the online databases provided through the college. One of the other sources should be the DSM or a source that references the DSM diagnostic criteria.
- Include a Works Cited
- You must make at least one embedded reference to each of your sources.
- Make sure you are pulling knowledge and learning from reputable sources (.edu and .gov are considered to be more reputable websites). You can research what public opinion/knowledge is and mention that, but this does not fulfill a source requirement. In short, make sure you include what the proven, credible information is on the issue.
- Your paper needs to be scholastically sound—your points need to make sense and be backed by research/evidence and reputable psychological knowledge/theory. Yes, you can include/pull from personal experience when writing this paper. However, personal experience cannot be your only source.
- Use sources that support and strengthen what you are saying. Do not just randomly throw something in weakly to “fulfill a requirement,” because it will not do so.
- Further instructions for accessing the databases/ finding peer-reviewed journals will be posted via Canvas.
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