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Psychology Research Guide: Character Analysis/DSM Diagnosis

A guide to resources for psychology

PSYC 101 Case Study

Write and present a case study on the psychopathology of a character/person of interest.  Choose a character from a book or movie, a famous person, etc.

The case study should include:

  • Background information on the person
  • Description of the presenting problem
  • Your diagnosis of the problem (use the DSM-V)
  • What intervention (treatment/therapy) is recommended?

Cite 3 credible sources in APA format.


Use the Table of Contents for this electronic version of the DSM-V to find the most complete information about a disorder:

Sources on Psychological Disorders & Conditions

Check the excellent sources provided under the tab for Reference Resources above for reliable information about disorders and conditions.

Examples available as ebooks:

Psychology databases

Finding biographical information

Psychopathology in the movies

The following movies contain one or more characters who exhibit psychological disorders.

Links are provided for the Wikipedia article about a movie.  NOTE: the information in Wikipedia may not be reliable.

For additional information about movies or to verify the information in Wikipedia, try Internet Movie Database.

American Psycho
Angel Heart (1987)
Apocalypse Now*
As Good as It Gets
The Aviator (2005)
Away from Her
Basic Instinct
Benny & Joon (1993)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Black Swan (2010)
Blue Sky (1994)
The Cable Guy
A Clockwork Orange
Dear John (2010)
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Fight Club (1999)
The Fisher King (1991)
Forest Gump
Garden State (2004)
Girl, Interrupted
The Great Santini
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Helen (2009)
The Horse Whisperer (1998)
The Hours (2002)
I am Sam
The King's Speech
Lars and the Real Girl
Little Man Tate (1991)
Lust for Life
The Machinist
The Madness of King George (1994)
Me, Myself & Irene
Mercury Rising
Natural Born Killers
Nell (1994)
No Country for Old Men
The Notebook
Notes on a Scandal
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Ordinary People (1980)
Patch Adams (1998)
Play Misty for Me
Pollock (2001)
Prozac Nation
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Radio (2003)
Rain Man (1988)
Raising Cain (1992)
Requiem for a Dream
Revolutionary Road
Running with Scissors (2007)
Schindler’s List
Secret Window
The Shining
Shutter Island
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Single White Female
Sling Blade
The Soloist
Sybil (1976)
Sylvia (2003)
Taxi Driver (1976)
There Will Be Blood
This Boy’s Life
Three Faces of Eve
Throw Momma From the Train
To Die For
12 Monkeys (1995)
Wall Street
What About Bob? (1991)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
White Oleander

Citing a movie

According to APA style, this is the format for citing a movie:

Producer, A.A. (Producer), & director, B.B. (Director). (Year). Title of motion picture [Motion picture]. Country of Origin: Studio.

(the second line is indented)

Locating Free Movies

Before paying for a movie, try these options to locate the movie of your choice.

Find Movie Reviews

Movie reviews may also give more insight into characters.

Use one of these general databases to find movie reviews.

Use the Advanced Search--put the title of the movie in the 1st search window and the word "reviews" in the 2nd

Finding the book

Some of the movies listed may have originated as a book.  The book may include more insight into the personality and behaviors of the characters.

Search for books in the Carroll Library Partnership (includes Carroll titles) and Marina above.

Remember that the CCC library may own the book for movies that we do not own.