Personality Development – Girl, Interrupted Movie Review

Cognition refers to the processes that the mind involves in acquiring knowledge and understanding. Some of these processes include problem-solving, judging, remembering, knowing, and thinking (Monsell & Driver, 2000). In actual sense, they comprise high level brain functions, which include planning, perception, imagination and language. On the other hand, cognitive processes provide the basis for most type instruments in psychology. These processes include sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition (Monsell & Driver, 2000). Sensation enables a person to know that there is something. Thinking provides information of what that thing is. Feeling tells a person whether something is agreeable or not, whether it deserves rejection or acceptance. In considering Kaysen as the Main character in the movie: Girl, Interrupted. Intuition, on the other hand, is a natural ability, which enables someone to know something in the absence of evidence. It is a feeling that directs an individual to act in a particular manner without knowing why.

Girl, Interrupted is a movie in which Susanna Kaysen reflects on her past life with a sense of astonishment, and wonders whether such memories are really hers. The movie is about Susanna’s sequence of reflections on her time while she was at the mental hospital.  In 1967, an eighteen year old Susanna Kaysen agrees to an admission into a Massachusetts’ residential psychiatry facility known as McLean Hospital (Wick & Mangold, 1999). In respect to the admission form, Kaysen makes description of Borderline personality disorder (Wick & Mangold, 1999). She plans to stay there for not longer than two weeks, but ends up remaining at the hospital for close to two years. On the other hand, the doctors who force her to remain in a psychiatric hospital do not even give her enough time during an interview. While at the mental hospital, Kaysen encounters different people and experiences. Therefore, in this movie she decides to narrate this story in a nonchronological vignettes’ series. There are several patients admitted together with Kaysen in the same ward; however, among all of them, she takes note of Polly whom she describes as a kind patient. Polly has self-inflicted burns, which disfigured her face and her body. Kaysen, also, finds another patient called Lisa to be entertaining especially when she makes attempts to escape. The movie portrays her as a powerful personality in the ward. She becomes a frustrating figure when she disregards the authorities of the hospital (Wick & Mangold, 1999). To other girls, she is attractive in a dangerous manner. Georgina, another roommate of Kaysen’s, has an unstable and violent boyfriend, Wade, whom she struggles to sustain a relationship with. Wade is in a different ward. He enjoys telling the girls weird stories about the exploits of his father with the CIA (Wick & Mangold, 1999). Georgina is a fragile girl and depressive in her personality. She is same as various other girls who do not show any apparent symptoms of sickness. A newly arrived patient called Daisy becomes an object of a lot of speculation especially because of her twin obsessions of laxatives and roast chicken. On her birthday, she commits suicide after leaving the hospital.

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Cognitive development entails a person’s realization, over time, about his/her state of psychology and it change. In other words, how much a person is able to observe is what limits an individual’s personality development (Monsell & Driver, 2000). For example, when a person who is in his or her late twenties thinks about how he/she was at eighteen, he/she would realize how/his/her thinking has changed. If the same individual reaches in his/her late thirties and reflects on life and his/her thinking capacity at eighteen, he/she would realize a difference in cognitive development. It is possible that an individual may not be aware when his/her personality changes over time and in a particular manner. This is the same situation in which Kaysen finds herself when she reflects on her life in the movie. She finds herself in the hospital following her refusal to proceed to college. This refusal prompted her to go intimate with her high school teacher who taught her English. After realizing that she was pregnant, she took aspirin in overdose in order to pump her stomach (Wick & Mangold, 1999). The movie, however, does not touch a lot on either her family, past or friends. As the main character in the movie, she takes viewers through social conformity and the scenery of sanity, and a deep description of their interrelation. She feels extreme discomfort due to the system’s condemnation that limits her. At the hospital, she understands the kinds of obstacles that women encounter in the society. She, also, learns the kindness and brutality of other people.  The movie, also, reveals a sense of disengaged befuddlement. It does not show Kaysen’s anger about the past events in her life. She does not show any concern about the actions of other characters even in regards to the attempts to commit suicide.

The biological approach to psychology, in most cases, has effect on cognitive processes, and one of these biological factors is memory. Various factors ranging from rehearsal and culture affect memory. Therefore, human brain affects the physiology of memory. Different sections of the brain perform different functions. Al these parts; however, work in coordination to perform various processes such as memory. In terms of environmental factors, there is family configuration, and this may entail a larger family that has kin members as well as siblings. According to Bekman (2011), old siblings, in such families, provide preschoolers with complicated beliefs and experiences that scaffold their cognitive processes. Another environmental factor is the level of risk families stand to face. Such risks may include parental factors. Such risks may increase the level of disturbance among children, therefore, affecting their cognitive processes. In a preschool; for instance, essential physical facilities in the environment can boost the development of cognitive processes in among children.

According to evolutionary theory, parents influence the personality of their children in a number of ways especially when they pay attention to what their children pass through from an early age. These parents do affect the learning of their children so that the entire process produces a competent adult after several years. Parents, also, encourage only appropriate information for their children to learn, and this depends on the social setting within the family. Most biological parents rare their children in bonded-pair arrangement especially where there is a network of narrow kinship (Bekman, 2011). Parents, also, influence the personality of their children in a number of ways according to biological/genetic theory. In more direct way; for instance, both parents pass their genetic instructions down to their children, and this influences the kinds of personalities that their children develop into. Such genetic inheritances may cause children to have similar personality characteristics as their parents. However, influences on the expressions happen in two ways: the continual interaction of genes with one another, and two, continuous interaction between the genes and the environment (Bekman, 2011). Temperament is another feature that a child’s personality. It refers to innate personality features. Every child shows certain temperament immediately after birth. This aspect, in children, entails soothability, responsiveness, excitability, and reactivity. Parents, in most cases, affect the temperament of their children to a large extent.  Parents, also, can influence the personalities of their children through a number of ways according to behaviour theories. In this case, a parent can be permissive to some extend in the sense that he/she behaves in an affirmative, acceptant and nonpunitive manner in regards to the child’s actions, desires, and impulses (Bekman, 2011). A parent can even consult with the child about certain policy decision as well as explaining family regulations to the child. In this manner, parents influence the personalities of their children by presenting themselves to them as resources. Besides being permissive, a parent can, also, be authoritative. This way, a parent tries to control, evaluate and shape a child’s behaviour in respect to a given standard of regulations and norms (Bekman, 2011). Through behavioral theory, parents influence the personalities of their children by acting as role models. They encourage them to emulate their behaviour as senior individuals of the family (Bekman, 2011).

Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his/her abilities to perform a particular task in a certain way in order to accomplish a certain goal. There is a deep relationship between self-efficacy and personality in the sense that it is the core of Bandura’s social cognitive theory, which insists on the role of social experience and observational learning in personality development (Urdan & Pajares, 2006). This, therefore, implies that a person with a high level of self-efficacy has a strong personality. Taking an example of Kaysen in the movie, she manifests self-efficacy when she shows determination to remain in the hospital during the entire period of her treatment. A Nobel laureate called James Watson and, also, a friend of the Kaysen family visits her one day. She rejects his voluntary offer to take her out of a prisonlike, cold medical facility. She maintains that she is ready to stay in the facility throughout the course of the treatment. At this point; however, she decides to open up about her unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide way back in high school with the use of an overdose of aspirin (Wick & Mangold, 1999). In considering the nature of her sickness that makes it hard for her to make visual sagacity of patterns, she compares sanity to illusion, which people build in order to feel normal. She, also, realizes that McLean Hospital hosts a lot of famous people. Therefore, she concludes that people with creative minds such as poets would most likely suffer from psychiatric problems.

Self-efficacy is something that most people are born with, and this depends on the genetic make-up of the family that parents pass on to their children (Urdan & Pajares, 2006). This is the most essential nature factor that affects self-efficacy. One of the main nurture factors is well shaped parenting efforts that model children in the right way to improve their self-efficacy. From the movie, the strict regulations of the hospital dictate the daily routines of the patients. The nurses stick to the schedule to perform timely inspections of the patients, they, also, do visual appraisals of the activities of the patients as well as their whereabouts. All these happen in respect to the severity of the sicknesses of the patients (Wick & Mangold, 1999). In addition, the staffs of the hospital confiscate various possessions such as belts and earrings to avoid infliction of injuries among patients. Patients rarely make field trips to the exterior of the walls of the hospital, and any time they happen a nurse must be part of it. In other words, nurses regulate the extent of the actions of patients. 

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