Free Psychology in Film Paper Essay Sample


Psychology can be experienced in films with most featuring mental disorders within the actors and as backdrops for other themes. Disorders can be portrayed accurately in films and at times inaccurately by psychological evidence and application of theories is what tells the disorders. Movies can be excellent tools for teaching of psychology, even though, many people may not identify the logic of what is being depicted. It is essential to notice that films are a reflection of the society at large, and thus behaviors of those who act are just realities in other words. There are many reasons for using films in psychology, and the most fundamental reason is that both educational and theoretical movies complement lectures, texts, and discussions. This paper aims at evaluating a film based on theory, perspective, and disorder. The film that will be involved is the Transamerica film for the purpose of this paper.

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Main Points of Transamerica Film

The Transamerica film is an independent comedy-drama film that is independent and was produced in 2005. It was produced by IFC Films in collaboration with the Weinstein Company. A major theme in this film is a personal journey that is towards self-discovery, and this has been accomplished according to the interviews conducted by both directors and actors. In this film, a jailed Kevin claims to be the son of Bree and surprisingly Bree is not aware that she has a son. Bree is not ready to face her past and instead break up with it, and her therapist urges her to face hear past and even denies her name of Schupak. It is identified that the same Bree flies to New York to bail Toby who is a drug user out of jail. There is suicide that had been committed in this film whereby Toby’s mother had committed suicide and after that the boy was raised by a stepfather who he even hates. There is a case where Bree pretends to be a Christian missionary and even wants this boy Toby to join her.

The stepfather who brought Toby up is identified to be abusive and had molested him as a child. Transgender women are defined to be hosting a gender pride meeting, and Bree is identified go have had friends among the women. Bree further urinates in the course of her trip and Toby has to identify that she is transsexual thus this could be the reason as to why she behaves uniquely. There is theft in the story whereby a white steals the car and money for Bree and Toby in their process of movement. Further theft is encountered when Toby steals from Bree overnight because he is bored about her secret situation of being a transsexual. In the confused mix, Toby even feels to love Bree and tries to express his love for her. Bree then identifies that she has made a mistake with Toby, and her family accepts her name as Bree. Funnily enough, Toby gets to eighteen years and encounters working as an actor who is gay in pornographic films and later reconciles with Bree again. The relationship between Toby and Bree is more of child abuse because of the vast age difference.

Theory Portrayed in the Film of Transamerica

Behavioral theories of psychology apply best in this film of Transamerica. This behaviorist theory states that the behaviors of human beings have nothing to do with internal unconscious conflicts. The behaviors also have nothing to do with repressions and problems and dysfunctional and unhelpful behaviors are learned. The behavioral theory in this concept is one that results from behaviors from stimulus response. In the film, there are unusual ways that cannot be linked to internal unconsciousness or even problem but just a decision. There is suicide that can be stated because the mother of a smell boy commits suicide, and the boy has to live with the stepfather. No reasons are given for the suicidal offense, and so the behavioral theory will be best in this case because it does not link any problem to the occurrence of suicide. The whole film is like a self-discovery whereby a jailed boy claims to Bree’s son in the context. It may be true that this boy could be her son, but Bree goes further and denies that he has never had a baby before. The behaviors of claiming and denying belonging just come from within the people’s thinking and nothing cause that. Many more behaviors have been unleashed in this film, and they all rank within the behavioral theory of psychology. Drug use, the act of being transgender, pretending to be Christians and yet no Christianity is practiced, molesting by stepfathers whereby Toby was molested and theft. Drug using has been a behavior that appears in the film and those who have been arrested have had drug using and abuse as behavior. A behavioral theory of psychology defines how people behave and does not relate it to the internal instincts that comeby. Transgender women even hold meetings as witnessed by Bree and Toby on their journey. It is seen that Bree had been a friend to the transgender women in the past, and the act of being a transgender is not fancy in the society. Most of the behaviors that appear in this film of Transamerica are not desired, and they cannot be linked to any internal cause, external or even problems that cause them.

Bree is identified to deny her name and later after she has faced problem sis when she comes to plead that her family accepts her name as Bree. Activities and behaviors in this film are the reflections of the society, even though, the actions are mostly irrelevant and undesirable. Toby acts like a gay in pornographic movies, and this is a behavior that is not desired. Besides, the relationship that was between Bree and Toby was not desired because Toby was even a child who was under the age of eighteen by the time he loved Bree. Bree, on the other hand, was already a mother in denial and was not ashamed of being in a relationship with a small boy thus this is more of a child abuse. Pornography that Toby acts in as a gay is more undesirable, and the behaviors of homosexuals and pornography are not even acceptable. All these bad behaviors are not cause any problem or instincts but just decisions. A behavioral theory of psychology defines that whatever behavior is displayed, it cannot be related problems that a person faces or the society. It is the decision of a person to behave in a good or a bad way and in case there are more personal issues then they are special.

Disease Portrayed in the Transamerica Film

The disease and disorders in this film as related to psychology are depression and many people in this film behave out of their minds. The boy who forces himself to be Bree’s son is depressed, and this act may have been caused by depression. There is this case that makes someone desperate such that the person would identify with anyone for the sake of identity. Family systems in this film are not complete and in each family there is one parent. Missing parents are because of death that is caused by suicide and other means. The involved cast is not in real lives, and that is why depression can best be used to describe their condition. It can be comprehended that it is because of depression that people in this Transamerica film engage in suicidal acts, drug use and abuse, transgender, molesting young children like Toby’s stepfather and theft. Other behaviors include self-denial, child abuse and involvement in pornographic activities. All the behaviors expressed by actors and actresses in the Transamerica film are of depressed individuals. This depression among people in the film is of psychiatry reference and is a mental disorder. World health organization contains a series of psychological and behavioral disorders that affect people. The depression as a disease in this context is now the behavioral disorder that makes people behave badly. Toby is mentioned to hate his stepfather because he molested him when he was young, and this openly shows depression in his life. It could then be proved that all behaviors that Toby takes with Bree are because of the depression present in their lives. Other actors and actresses also apply depression in their behaviors that might have made them behave badly in the societal context of the film.


It is important to identify that the portrayals made in this film context are correct and when related to psychology they match. My views on this topic were changed based on the behavioral theory of psychology applied. The behaviors that the people in the film were portraying were dangerous and at first I felt like there was a cause to this. My view was changed when behavioral theories of psychology explained that the behaviors that people portray can just be out of choice and no problems cause such behaviors. The disorder of depression is also a change of mind because bad behaviors can be blamed but in real sense depression can make people behave badly.


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