Wednesday, February 22, 2012


OKAY the last thing posted is my third media thing along with the first two posted (i got confused)
   READD the essay first though to understand the media
-and myers textbook

PART 2 2

Basically, this is a mockery of Pavlov's Classical Conditioning experiment on dogs.  Its even more ironic that it is in jail.  Like the dogs in the experiment the prisoners were put in cells and trained to do things when the system wanted them to and not necessarily when they wanted to.  And just like the dog who was shocked when there was no food at the door after the bell rang, Red cannot contemplate NOT asking to use the restroom before using it.

---disregard the cartoon on the right..i have no idea why its there


This is a link to a video called "wrong worship" and how people conform in churches to the people around them, and go through the motions really just thinking about themselves.  Conformity- adjusting ones behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.  In a funny way this video shows the seriousness of the conformity that goes on in movie.  Andy unknowingly conforms to the patterns of eating, talking, walking, and acting of the other prisoners.  Yet he becomes wise and thoughtful with the help of Red.  Conformity is not always bad.


How would it feel to be living a completely normal life, and the next day be embarking on a journey to live at prison whose doors will contain you for the remainder of your life?   Oh, and on top of that your wife is dead, murdered, in the hands of her lover (not you) and the tale of this so-called lover was the last truth she ever told.  But not only has your wife and her lover been murdered, you have been convicted of the deed.  Now that’s reality. The Shawshank Redemption is a classic motion picture where throughout the entire experience psychology is portrayed positively and negatively through many different situations and characters.
Essentially this is the story of an innocent man who is tried, convicted and sentenced to spend two life terms in prison.  Upon arrival the warden gives the convicts a little encouragement speech,  "I believe in two things: discipline and the Bible. Here you'll receive both...Welcome to Shawshank."  What a great way to get the term started.  At this prison the officers frequently beat men to death as exemplified on Andy’s first night when a guard, for crying out to God, kills a man called “Fat Ass”.  Andy is quiet for the first couple of weeks but soon reaches out to find a friend named Red, the narrator of the story.  Supposedly, according to Red he is the only guilty man at the prison.  Red is known for obtaining certain needed items through a carefully concealed system.  Knowing this Andy asks for a certain type of hammer in order to form rocks, a hobby of his.  Red gets it for him along with a couple of posters to say that you to Andy for winning him and his friends some beer earlier that week.  Although Red says never to tell anyone it was him who got it if he got caught in one of those surprise inspections.  During one of the inspections the Warden comes in to finding Andy reading his Bible, “Salvation lies within.”  He says.  Of all horrors while in prison Andy gets raped by a man named Boggs multiple times, yet each time he gives up the biggest fight as he did the first.  Finally the prison does something to Boggs that gets him out of there for life…Andy was never touched by the “sisters” (the group of homos) again.  Throughout the story Andy is pinpointed as “the smart banker guy” and everybody came to him for help, rather it be prisoners, officers, the warden, or people not even directly related to the prison-they all wanted Andy.  So he persevered through the hardship of prison by doing little projects, he built up a new library, educated some men to get their high school diplomas.  One of the guys he tutored was named Tommy.  One night Red explained to Tommy why Andy was convicted and Tommy gasped.  He swore to have been in a cell with a man who claimed to have committed the crime of which Andy was accused.  When Andy takes this information to the Warden he is furious and sends him to the hole for two months.  In the meantime he kills Tommy so that the story has no gravity.  When Andy finally get out of the whole he sits next to Red and talks of the Pacific Ocean that “has no memory”, it is where he wants to live once he gets out.  Red and the others think Andy is talking funny and maybe going crazy.  They are imminently worried he is going to kill himself.  As Andy walks to his room that night he looks up and sees Red looking down at him, time almost stops.  Anticipation and dread grow as Andy does not come out of his room the next morning, and when the officer walks in to find him he gasps.  Andy is gone.  Everyone asks where and how, no one has to ask why.  Red says it best, “some birds just aren’t mean to be caged.” He got away through a tunnel he dug with a tiny little rock hammer given to him 20 years ago by a new friend, the tunnel was behind the poster and the hammer hidden in his bible.  Salvation did lie within.  On his way to freedom he exposes the prison for what it is and soon the guards were arrested and the warden shot himself. Finally he makes it to the Pacific Ocean, and Red soon joins him, in a place that “has no memory.”

Prisoner: “When do we eat?” Captain Hadley, “You eat when we say you eat. You shit when we say you shit. You piss when we say you piss. You got that, you maggot dick motherfucker?”  From the day the prisoners arrive to the day they leave or die, they are trained to ask permission to do everything.  When Red is let out of prison and goes to work as a bagger, he asks his boss to use the restroom, the boss tell him that there is no need to ask every time he needs to use the bathroom.  This upsets Red because, “Forty years I been asking permission to piss.” He says, “I can't squeeze a drop without say-so.”  This demonstrates classical conditioning, a type of learning which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events (Myers 218).  Red linked the stimuli of hearing “yes” to going to the bathroom…without the yes; he could not use the restroom.  Another concept portrayed in the movie is conformity, adjusting ones behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard (Myers 651).  At the beginning of the movie when Red asks Andy why he is in jail Andy explains that he is innocent.  Red laughs and explains to Andy that everyone is “innocent” here.  At first Andy doesn’t like the joke, nor gets the idea.  But about 18 years later when a new guy is in the man asks Andy why he’s in prison, Andy replies, “Me? My lawyer fucked me. Everybody's innocent in here. Didn't you know that?”  Andy conforms to the group standard of making fun of the fact that everybody says they are innocent when they are really not.  The irony is that Andy really is innocent though, yet has almost assumed the role of the “innocent” yet guilty prisoner.  Role, a set of expectations (norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave, is eagerly demonstrated throughout this movie (Myers 647).  Everybody assumes roles in this movie, and just like in the Stanford Prison Experiment, they are taken way too far.  The Warden becomes a sorry, money-chasing crook.  All the guards for the most part become cold-hearted cruel murderers.  And the prisoners become helpless, viewed as lees-than-human.  But what the prisoners have that none of the others do is hope.  The guards and Warden are there to stay, yet the prisoners are let out at some point, whether they like it or not.  Red had a hard time coping with his new role in society once he was let out, many times he wished he could just go back and regress to a former stage of life.  His role in the prison was so alien at first but it soon became his memory, and life, “These walls are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That's institutionalized.”  Red remarks, “They send you here for life, and that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyway.”
Classical conditioning is accurately portrayed in the sense that subconsciously the inmates were trained only to be able to go the bathroom when they could ask permission and the guard says yes.  The conditioned stimulus, unconditional stimulus, conditioned response and unconditional response get a little tricky and the authors were probably not seriously thinking of these when writing the script.  Though Classical conditioning is portrayed, it is just not in as much detail as many would have liked.   Conformity is shown truthfully in the ways that inmates and guards would conform to how the others acted and pick up general maxims, sayings, and phrases commonly used.  Although the guards never conformed to the ways of the inmates and the inmates never conformed to the ways of the guards.  They stayed separate, but so similar in their detachment.  Finally, role is the most candidly perceived concept in the entire motion picture.  Throughout the film different people take up different roles, and more often than not they misuse or take them too far.  This movie so wisely portrays how a man will even play into the role of someone who he his not just to be accepted.  It also dramatizes the blindness that comes when believing that the role is everything, and when it is worshiped above all.   
In conclusion, The Shawshank Redemption is an invigorating movie, which analyzes behavior in ways never done before.  The Psychological aspect is astounding throughout the entire film, especially seen through classical conditioning, conformity, and role.  Again, this classic motion picture is about a man who lived a seemingly normal life, but one day it is changed forever.  The question many would ask Andy Defresne is if he would let it happen again.  Prison changes a man, and no doubt it changed Andy, but was it for the better or worse?   If he had not gone to prison where would he have learned to hope?  Red sums it up real nicely at the end by saying, “I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”

This demonstrates role- a set of expectations(norms) about a social position, defining how those in the position ought to behave.  Blair and Chuck are obsessed with NOT becoming the normal roles that tend to take place in a relationship after the first couple of months, so they invent the "games."  In the games chuck plays the rich, man whore and blair the scorned woman.  These games are fun at first but then both characters start to feel the other is just playing for the other.  This creates doubt in the relationship when Blair believes Chuck actually brings that girl homes with him.  She believes he has become his role and because she believes that, she becomes her role...and this is why people watch the show.  Similarly this relates to Shawshanks Redemption because the prisoners at first assume the roles as a joke or not reality but then they take them very seriously and before they know it, they are the role.  This applies to the guards and the Warden as well.  Maybe at first he just acted mean and stern to be respected, but then he became his act.