Social-Psychological Principles of the Movie Unforgiven
Florida Institute of Technology
Most movies have different social-psychological principles, however most people are watching movies to be entertained, and not to psychologically analyze them. There are many different principles that would be applicable to the film we are discussing however, I have chosen to analyze three scenes discussing altruism, self-fulfilling prophecy, and counterfactual thinking. Please review the following scenes and analysis from the movie Unforgiven: Scene
* The first scene is the opening scene when a man was upstairs in the saloon/brothel with a prostitute – Delilah, who did not want to have sex with the man she was in the room with. In turn, he got very angry and violent, and used a knife to cut her all over her face. During the fight, one of the other prostitutes, Alice jump on the man attacking her friend/co-worker. Not only did the prostitute try to stop the attack but the man’s friend also tried to stop him. It was not until the owner of the brothel held a gun to the man’s head that he stopped the attack. In this scene, the social-psychological principle or behavior is altruism. Altruistic behavior is described as “motivated by the desire to improve another’s welfare” (Kassin, Markus & Fein, 2010). Of course the other prostitute would want to help her friend. She did not want to see her get hurt by a John. She tried several times to stop him, knowing that he could easily hurt her just as badly, however tried to help anyway. The man’s friend even intervened and tried to stop him knowing he could get hurt as well. The man was so angry that he could have easily hurt and killed any of the three. This example of altruism shows that people are willing to put themselves in danger to help someone else.
* Will Munny finds out that his friend and old partner, Ned was killed by Little Bill and now he’s on display in front of the saloon/brothel in town....
References: Kassin, S., Markus, H. R., & Fein, S. (2010). Social psychology: Eighth edition. (8 ed.). Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning., pp. 117, 135, 400.
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