Peter Smith

Publications, Lectures and Other Stuff

Psychology in Popular Culture (3 examples)

1. Fans of the Big Bang Theory may like 2 psychologically-themed episodes:

i. Series 2, #15. “The Maternal Capacitance” which raises several Freudianesque issues:

“Leonard suddenly becomes worried when he learns his mother, accomplished psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Beverly Hofstadter (Christine Baranski), is coming to visit. Upon arriving at the building, Beverly meets Penny, and by the time they reach Leonard’s apartment, Penny is in tears after having her childhood issues psychoanalyzed. Sheldon, on the other hand, instantly develops a comfortable relationship with Leonard’s mother, who turns out to be as strict and logical as himself. Howard and Raj also meet Beverly, but after learning that Howard still lives with his mother and that Raj can’t speak to women, she is quick to declare that they are in an “ersatz homosexual marriage”. Later, Leonard goes to talk to Penny, and they both seek comfort in each other, discussing their respective childhood issues with their parents’.


ii. Series 3 #3. “The Gothowitz Deviation” has a Behaviourist motif.

“During the episode, Sheldon tries to improve Penny using chocolate, despite Leonard’s opposition, rewarding her for what he considers to be correct behavior, as in operant conditioning with lab rats”.


2. Jung and Freud in the movie, ‘A Dangerous Method’:

i. Trailer:

ii. Freud & Jung:

iii. Fassbender on Jung:

iv. Director’s comments:

& v.

3. Freud even makes it into this pop music video (Nu Virgos – Stop Stop Stop): :


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This entry was posted on December 24, 2013 by in Psychology and tagged , , , , , .
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