Assignment requirement—Application paper
Movie: Marriage Story
The paper is to be three pages (APA style, double-spaced,standard Times New
Roman 12pt font, 3/4 inch margins)
To save space, you do NOT need to use formal APA style when citing the text and
lecture in your paper. Instead, please use the following simplified style for this
class and this assignment only!
-Citing Lectures: “This behavior suggests that Kermit the Frog has avoidant
attachment (Lecture, Nov 17).”
-Citing the Text: “This behavior suggests that Kermit the Frog has avoidant
You DO need to use proper APA style when citing your two additional journal
YouMAY NOT apply Sternberg’s triangular theory of love in your paper
Goal: apply psychological research to specific social situations
Task: Analyze “relationships” in this movie.
Cite materials and theories from class and lecture, as well as information from 2
relevant journal articles from these journals (cannot be detailed in text!!):
– Social Psychology and Personality Science
– Personal Relationships
– Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Write a paper analyzing the relationship(s) depicted in the movies from a
relationship science and social psychological perspective.
How do I analyze the social situation? To succeed, try to think like a social
psychologist, marshalling evidence to support your claims and deducing
hypotheses about what might be happening from theories in the course. The focus
should be on untangling the complexities of the relationship(s) in the movie using
concepts from the lecture or text, not your own ideas (great as they may be). Ask
yourself about the details of the social situation being depicted in the movie, and
how those details relate to what you’ve learned in this course. You may wish to
consider the following questions in your analysis: Based on social psychological
theory, what events might have caused the relationship events depicted in the
movie? What events might follow the events depicted in the movie? What could
have been done to avert/change the outcomes depicted in the movie? What might
be the psychological repercussions of the events depicted in the movie for the
event participants? Do not limit yourself to these questions, I offer them as food
You may wish to consider the following questions in your analysis. Based on social
psychological theory and research:
– what events might have caused the relationship events depicted in the movie?
– What events might follow the events depicted in the movie?
– What could have been done to avert/change the outcomes depicted in the movie?
– What might be the psychological repercussions of the events depicted in the movie
for the event participants?
– Do not limit yourself to these questions, I offer them as food for thought.
This is not a formal essay. You do not need a formal introductory statement
or closing paragraph. In fact, I suggest you don’t waste words on such repetitive
features. You don’t even need a formal thesis statement. You can jump right into
your analysis. Remember — the goal is to demonstrate your mastery of course
content! All your writing should be aimed at meeting this goal.
Try to balance breadth and depth in your analysis. Breadth = apply multiple
concepts. Depth = go into detail about the finer nuances of the theories you apply.
Declaring that someone has a particular attachment style might meet the breadth
requirement (in combination with other theories being applied, of course).
Discussing why they have a particular attachment style, how their style might
influence cognition, emotion, and behavior, how their attachment might vary
across relationships, or how it will influence the relationship over time… this is all
depth analysis that makes the difference between a good paper and a great one.
Don’t write your opinions. One way to judge this characteristic is to ask
yourself: “Could someone who has never take this course say this?” If yes, then
you are not demonstrating your mastery of course content.
If you want to cite either of the educational videos we discussed in class,
just cite the lecture and be clear in your writing that you are talking about the Dark
Matter of Love movie or the Gottman lecture. e.g., “According the Gottman, blah
blah blah (Lecture, Oct 24).
Remember your audience, which is your instructor and your TA. Assume
that your reader has expert knowledge of course content and also has seen the
movies. So don’t waste space providing a synopsis of the movie plot and don’t
waste space providing long definitions of course concepts. You don’t need to
define attachment style, for example. You need to show me you know what it is by
applying it correctly and discussing the implications of the theory (ie. depth of