Pretty Little Liars- Psychology Analaysis Paper

Topics: Psychology, Social psychology, Social identity Pages: 5 (1734 words) Published: March 12, 2012
Pretty Little Liars is a television show based on a set of novels that focuses on the lives of four teenage girls and the struggles that they face daily. After the murder of their cliques Queen Bee, Alison, each girl begins to get harassed and an anonymous bully threatens to expose all of their secrets. They are abused mentally after what seems like a never ending search to discover who the anonymous person that is harassing them is. The strong relationship that the girls maintain through their anxiety ridden high school career shows us that friendship can help to keep you strong. We will be looking specifically at Abnormal Behavior demonstrated throughout the girls high school days; Social identity theory demonstrated by Alison; and bulimia nervosa demonstrated by Hannah, who is targeted for being overweight. Topic #1 Abnormal Behavior

In Pretty Little Liars, after Alison is murdered there is a long investigation searching for her murderer. The girls come up with many different theories as to who murdered Alison, and in some cases they even make themselves out to look guilty. Eventually, one of the characters, Ian, committed suicide and in his suicide note he confessed to murdering Alison. After Ian admitted to the crime, the case was dropped and the people of Rosewood, PA were able to move forward with their lives without worry. However, the girls were not satisfied with the suicide note and believe that there are still many unanswered questions. Their parents and the people of Rosewood find it very troubling that the girls continue to search for an answer after Ian confessed, and force the girls to stay away from each other for some time. The girls were asked to stay away from each other because people thought they might be dangerous, and they were even enrolled in counseling. On the inside, the girls were breaking, but on the outside, they still looked picture perfect and never let anyone know about their struggles. Abnormal behavior is broken into three parts, deviant, maladaptive, and personal distress (King, 2009). The first part is that abnormal behavior is deviant. Something would be considered deviant when it is not what our society labels as normal. For example, there may be a man who spends his days watching movies, and every day he wakes up and watches six movies; although that is normal to him, it is not normal to society. The second part is maladaptive, which is when a person isn’t able to carry out life’s tasks normally. For example, if there is a woman who believes she will melt if her skin comes in contact with sunlight, she would have maladaptive behavior. The third and final part of abnormal behavior is personal distress over a long period of time. Personal distress is when the individual finds it hard to carry out tasks. A good example of personal distress would be if a man got in a car crash in the rain and killed his wife who was also in the car. If that man had anxiety attacks every time it rained, that would be personal distress. Only one of these three parts needs to be present for behavior to be considered abnormal. In this show, all three of the abnormal behavior parts are displayed at some point. The most prevalent form would be personal distress, because the memory of Alison’s death haunts them in everything they do. Also, the girls are so broken inside and nobody can tell, and that is a big sign of personal distress. Normally, when someone would have been murdered and there was a confession, friends and family would be able to move on and get relief and closure. In Pretty Little Liars, the girls continue to search for answers after Ian admitted to the crime, and that is not normal, and would therefore be labeled as deviant. The girls also show some maladaptive behavior, due to the fact that they are not able to live normal lives after the murder, because even the smallest things look like clues to them. Nothing about these girls’ behaviors is what our society would consider...
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