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psych film questions

by: Annie Estes

psych film questions HS 220

Annie Estes
Whitworth University

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these notes cover what was covered in the movie
Anatomy and Physiology
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Annie Estes on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HS 220 at Whitworth University taught by Ulbright in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Anatomy and Physiology in Health Sciences at Whitworth University.

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Date Created: 09/15/16
Annie Estes 1. How does Howard Hugh’s character fit the criteria for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder  (OCD)? Please identify at least 3 obsessions and 3 compulsions. (6 points) Howard Hughes fits the criteria for OCD because he has many obsessions and  compulsions that consistently interfere with everyday activities and cause distress when  not attended to. He is obsessed with perfectionism, germs, and having his peas placed in a certain way on his plate. His compulsions include ordering milk with the cap still on, and  then placing the cap in his left pocket. He also needs his chocolate chip cookies to have  medium sized chocolate chips with none too close to the outside. Furthermore, he feels  the need to bring his own bar of soap with him to the bathroom and proceeds to scrub  extremely hard, sometimes until his hands bleed. Clearly, these obsessions and  compulsions get in the way of normal life activities.  2. How does Howard’s thinking and behaviors fit the 3 Ds (deviant, distressing,  dysfunction) for being considered abnormal? (6 points) Howard’s behaviors were deviant because he did many things that a person without a  psychological disorder would not do. For example, it is not normal for someone to scrub  their hands so hard and for so long that they start to bleed. His behaviors were distressing  because when things weren’t exactly how he needed them to be, Howard would become  very upset. For instance, when someone takes a pea from his plate, thereby destroying the perfectly arranged food, he becomes visibly distressed and has to leave the table. These  behaviors are also dysfunctional because they interfere with daily functions. One example of this occurred when Howard felt like he was trapped in the bathroom because there  were no more clean towels with which to open the door. He was unable to leave the  bathroom, and was thus missing out on the party he was attending.  3. In the opening scene we see Howard’s mother demonstrating some OCD behaviors. How  may this suggest both a genetic components and learning components as contributing to  OCD? How does this fit what we know about the cause of OCD? (6 points) In the opening scene, Howard’s mother warns him about the danger of the outside and  that he is not safe from disease. This suggests that he has a strong family history of OCD. From this information, the viewer can assume that genetics does have a role in  contributing to OCD. Additionally, the viewer will postulate that observational learning  is also a contributor to OCD. This fits in very well with what we know about the cause of  OCD. Both nature and nurture are known to contribute to OCD. 4. How does Howard’s OCD influence those around him? (5 points) Howard’s OCD causes those around him to feel very uncomfortable at the least. Most  people begin to think he is weird once they notice his OCD. In some cases, such as when  Howard repeatedly asked someone to brush off their lapel when they had a speck on it,  people can get annoyed. In more extreme cases, such as the fight between Hughes and  Hepburn that was a major factor in their breakup, his OCD can make people very angry.  In this instance, she screamed at him, “Can’t you eat ice cream out of a bowl like a  normal person?!”  5. Although Howard has many issues because of his OCD, how may have his OCD also  helped him to become a successful as a filmmaker? (5 points) His OCD causes him to be very particular about small details. I have always believed that it is the small details that make a difference between a good movie and a great one. His  perfectionism and astonishing attention to detail is what really makes his movie so great.  Additionally, he is very persistent and he never gives up until he gets exactly what he  wants. This is also caused by his OCD and is most certainly a factor in his success as a  filmmaker. 6. Many people with mental illness have more than one illness, what other mental illness  did Howard seem to have and why? (6 points) Howard may have also suffered from Schizophrenia. This is evident from the fact that  near the end of the film he showed signs of paranoia. He also experienced disorganized  thoughts that were caused by a breakdown of his selective attention. This is apparent  during his hearing, when he should have been paying attention to what the senators had to say. However, he could only pay attention to the cameras and lights that were flashing  around him.  7. How does the film demonstrate treatment for OCD, and how is that different from today?  (6 points) The film’s depiction of treatment for OCD is not very typical. In the film, Howard left his OCD untreated and did not seek help. The film showed Howard suddenly becoming  motivated enough to re­enter society and function very well, despite having just  experienced the worse OCD symptoms of his life. He had to leave the “safe space” of his  screening room where he had holed away for weeks during an incapacitating episode of  OCD. This rapid change does not normally happen. The film also explains how  depression can often accompany those with OCD, or any mental illness. Furthermore,  stressful situations and life events were shown to worsen the symptoms of OCD.  Nowadays, the fear that causes OCD can be lessened by the use of drugs. Additionally, I  noticed in the film that his symptoms almost disappeared whenever he was flying. This  remains true today because studies have shown that complete absorption in an activity  does help reduce symptoms, and has been used to treat OCD sufferers.  8. How did Howard’s wealth help him function with OCD and how may he have been less  able to function without his considerable wealth? (5 points) Howard’s wealth helped him function with OCD because he was able to afford  employees to carry out his very specific instructions. He was also able to effectively  distract himself by flying, thereby creating some of the happiest experiences of his life. In addition, his wealth most likely had an effect on the amount of lovers and partners he was able to have. He seemed to function better in society while he had a steady companion.  His wealth enabled him to dress well and attend extravagant parties, which was  undoubtedly very attractive to women. Without his wealth, he wouldn’t have been able to function as well in the world because he would have had a harder time distracting himself and getting women to like him.   9. Both Howard Hughes and Howie Mandel have OCD, how does their experience seem  similar and how does it seem different? (5 points) Their experience seems similar because they both are obsessed with germs. Their  obsession with germs seems to cause both daily distress. Howie Mandel, however,  chooses to do something about it to make himself more comfortable in a way that is  considered socially acceptable. Howard Hughes confined himself to just one hallway in  his house to minimize the amount of germs he came into contact with. In contrast with  Mandel, that type of behavior would not be socially acceptable anywhere. 


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