"Mean Girls" Behavioral Analysis

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“Mean Girls” Behavioral Analysis

The movie “Mean Girls”, featuring Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey, is a comedic film about a girl in high school who has to deal with all the problems, pressures, and choices of growing up in American society in comparison to that of being homeschooled in Africa. This motion picture was the perfect platform for showcasing various types of behavioral psychology. When Cady first moves from Africa to attend a public school she is a nice, innocent, respectful teenage girl. Her behavior quickly changes and these alterations can be explained through both the Freudian and Behaviorist perspectives.

One major portion of Sigmund Freud’s perspective on psychology involves the personality structure of the id, ego, and superego. The id is the most basic part of personality, causing immediate gratification for the individual. It deals with basic biological impulses such as food, water, sex, avoiding pain, and in Cady’s case, acceptance. The very first day of school she skips class simply because nobody else will pay attention to her and Janis said “we’re friends”. She doesn’t question getting into trouble or any of the consequences she could face from making this decision. Cady goes along with Janis because it gives her instant gratification that she has found a friend and is finally being accepted by someone.

In addition to the id, Cady also demonstrates the ego and superego. The ego, which is based upon the id, obeys the reality principle, delaying gratification until the situation is appropriate. Although she has the biological impulse from the id to eliminate wastes from her body, she cannot go to the bathroom because the lavatory pass is unavailable. Her gratification is being delayed until the situation is appropriate. Above the ego is the superego, judging whether actions are right or wrong. This is the individual’s representation of their morals and values. Cady writes that her teacher, Miss Norbury, is a drug dealer in something...
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