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Recommended Books and Movies


Since before it first became an organized science in the late nineteenth century (eighteen hundreds), psychology has been a fascinating subject for most people.  Psychological principles, psychiatric symptoms, psychology itself and psychotherapy in particular have been the subjects of a very large number of films and books, both fictional works and documentaries.  Even if a book or film does not deal directly with the very subject itself, many contain psychological themes and principles (some accurate and some not), and even clichťs.  You may have read some of these books and seen many of these films, but if you look at them again while you are taking this course, you might become aware of  psychological themes contained in them that you didnít notice before.


If you know of a book or movie that you think could be added to this list, let me know by e-mailing me at zykprof@optonline.net (generally I do not list works that I have not read or seen myself, so I may not add your recommendation until I have done so).  Keep an eye on this section Ė I will be adding to it as the semester progresses.


This is always a work in progress, so keep checking this part of my web site.  Never assume that because these works contain a psychological theme they are boring or irrelevant.  Most of them are extremely popular and successful works because they entertain and absorb their audiences.  Look through them to see if you havenít already enjoyed many of them.  (While I have placed these works in a specific chapter, they will often relate to other chapters in the textbook equally well.)



Chapter 1

Introduction and Research Methods


Books: Slater, Lauren. OPENING SKINNER'S BOX - Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century (W.W.Norton, 2004) ISBN 0-393-05095-5






Chapter 2

Neuroscience and Behavior


Books:  Zimmer, Carl: Soul Made Flesh - The Discovery of the Brain and How It Changed the World (Free Press, 2004)






Chapter 3

Sensation and Perception


Books:  Eggers, Dave: You Shall Know Our Velocity (Random House, 2002)  EXCERPT






Chapter 4

Consciousness and Its Variations




Movies: Rachel Getting Married, Garden State, Donnie Darko, Being John Malkovich, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Talk To Her, The Science of Sleep, Trainspotting





Chapter 5





Movies: A Clockwork Orange,




Chapter 6





Movies: Fifty First Dates, The Machinist, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind




Chapter 7

Thinking, Language and Intelligence








Chapter 8

Motivation and Emotion




Movies: Adaptation, Maxed Out, Freedom Writers, Glengarry Glen Ross, Barton Fink, American Splendour, In the Bedroom




Chapter 9

Lifespan Development


Books: Jacoby, Susan. NEVER SAY DIE - The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age (Pantheon Books, 2011) ISBN 978-0-307-37794-4


Movies: The Namesake, Pieces of April, Towelhead, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, Radio Days, Diggers, Whatís Eating Gilbert Grape?, The Butterfly Effect, The Empire of the Sun, Son of Rambow




Chapter 10

Gender and Sexuality


Books:  Orenstein, Peggy: Cinderella Ate My Daughter - Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie Girl Culture (HarperCollins, 2011)


Movies: Boys Donít Cry, Death At A Funeral, Happiness, Hedwig and the Angry Inch




Chapter 11





Movies: Junebug, Running With Scissors, Into The Wild, A River Runs Through It, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels




Chapter 12

Social Psychology




Movies: Breaking and Entering




Chapter 13

Stress, Health and Coping




Movies: The Savages




Chapter 14

Psychological Disorders


Books:  Sacks, Oliver: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales (Touchstone, 1970) 

               DeBaggio, Thomas: Losing My Mind - an Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer's (Free Press, 2002)

               Sexton, Linda Gray: Half In Love - Surviving the Legacy of Suicide - A Memoir (Counterpoint, 2011)


Movies: Righteous Kill, Mystic River, September, The Squid and the Whale, Nurse Betty, Fight Club, One Flew Over the Cuckooís Nest, Rainman, Finding Amanda, Apocalypse Now, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels


Article: David L. Rosenhan, ďOn Being Sane in Insane Places,Ē Science, Vol. 179 (Jan. 1973), 250-258    http://psychrights.org/articles/rosenham.htm#_ftn3


"Sometimes I ainít so sure whos got ery right to say when a man is crazy and when he ainít.  Sometimes I think it ainít none of us pure crazy and they ainít none of us pure sane, until the balance of us talks in that a way.  Itís like it ainít so much what a fella does, but itís the way the majority of folks is lookiní at him when he does it."

      Cormac McCarthy

      In All The Pretty Horses





Chapter 15





Movies: Charlie Bartlett, Another Woman,




Appendix A









Appendix B

Industrial/Organization Psychology




Movies: Fast Food Nation