We often watch others and quickly develop an intuitive sense of their personalities. These assessments are important because they affect the way we think of, and act towards others. As we will see in class, these assessments also affect the way others behave towards us. Unfortunately, our assessments are generally done spontaneously, without much thought or analysis of others behavior, begging the question, “how accurate are these assessments?”
This assignment is meant to help you learn to think carefully about how and why you evaluate others’ personalities, leading to an improved ability (by the end of the course) to answer the questions: What criteria do I use to evaluate others’ personalities? Is the evidence adequate? Are behaviors consistent enough to warrant my conclusion?
There are TWO parts to this assignment. Be sure to complete both. For the 1st part of the assignment, watch the move “Shrek 1” and describe the personality of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey or Lord Farquaad using one of the theories discussed in class. You may use your text and any additional sources you feel are appropriate. The second part of the assignment is identical to the first, but you should pick a second character and use a different theory to analyze his/her personality. The completed paper should be approximately 6 pages in length.
In your analyses you should 1) use specific concepts from the theories and 2) describe specific scenes from the film to demonstrate that you understand the theory and can apply the theory to real-life situations. For example, if you use a learning theory approach, you should discuss concepts such as classical conditioning, operant conditioning, conditioned and unconditioned response, conditioned and unconditioned stimuli, etc. If you choose a Freudian approach, your paper should include topics such as id, ego and superego, psycho-sexual stages, conscious, unconscious, defense mechanisms, etc. It is NOT enough to write that your character “learned from experience” to act this way, or that your character had “unconscious motivations” that caused him/her to say something in particular.
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