Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Select and watch a movie from site and write an analysis that relates to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs AND Deci & Ryan’s humanistic theories of motivations (Refer to attachments ).

When you go to the website, go to the ‘Movie Lists tab, then drop down to Social Psychology or the Psychopathology Lists, which includes movies on Anxiety, Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Substance Abuse Disorders, Personality Disorders and Dissociative Disorders.  Also include how Deci & Ryan’s humanistic theories of motivation can affect the level of self-actualization.

Refer to this link to better understand Deci and Ryan’s Incentive Theory of Motivation and Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation AND link on Abraham Maslow’s Theory

Include all (5) levels of Maslow’s pyramid.  For some of the levels, you may have to infer that your character has certain needs met or not met.  You need to select a character with a mental health dysfunction or psychological disorder when analyzing the movie.  To receive full credit, refer to the attached rubric with the required criteria and pg. 331-335)..

Also include a powerpoint of your movie analysis, an additional 10 pts can be earned.


One movie that could be analyzed is “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012), which is listed under the Psychopathology list on The movie centers around Pat Solitano (played by Bradley Cooper), who is released from a mental institution and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife while navigating his own mental health issues.

In terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Pat’s physiological needs are met, as he has a place to live and food to eat. However, his safety needs are not entirely met, as he struggles to control his violent outbursts and is not entirely stable in his mental health. Pat’s need for love and belonging is also not met, as he is separated from his wife and has a strained relationship with his family.

Regarding Deci and Ryan’s humanistic theories of motivation, Pat’s motivation to reconcile with his ex-wife and achieve happiness can be seen as intrinsic motivation. He is not motivated by external rewards or incentives, but rather a desire for personal growth and self-actualization. However, his mental health issues hinder his ability to self-actualize and achieve his goals.

To better understand Pat’s level of self-actualization, we can look at all five levels of Maslow’s pyramid. As mentioned, his physiological needs are met, but his safety, love/belonging, and esteem needs are not entirely met. He struggles with his mental health, which affects his relationships and ability to feel secure in his environment. As a result, he is not able to fully self-actualize and achieve his goals of reconciliation and personal growth.

Overall, “Silver Linings Playbook” provides a nuanced portrayal of mental health and the challenges individuals face when trying to achieve their goals and self-actualize. The movie highlights the importance of addressing mental health issues and the impact they can have on a person’s ability to meet their needs and achieve personal growth.

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