Essay about The movie Awakenings

Words: 4829
Pages: 20

Meagan McGee
Psychology 1300

The movie Awakenings starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro portrays the true story of a doctor named Dr. Malcolm Sayer, and the events of the summer of 1969 at a psychiatric hospital in New York. Dr. Malcolm Sayer, who is a research physician, is confronted with a number of patients who had each been afflicted with a devastating disease called Encephalitis Lethargica. The illness killed most of the people who contracted it, but some were left living statues; speechless, motionless, and helpless.
Dr. Malcolm Sayer, when introduced to these patients and their prospective cases, took on what was considered an extremely unpredictable and radical experimental treatment. Being a primarily
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Sayer was a very quiet man who didn’t respond well with other people. He preferred to sit back and watch, rather then get out there and help. He had been working with a lady named Lucy for a few weeks, she was un-conscience, but had unbelievable reflexes.

As Dr. Sayer worked with these patients he felt that a drug used on Parkinson’s disease might make a differe

I would argue that Dr. Sayer is both a Research Psychologist and an Applied Psychologist. He originally did the research and took the data, and made conclusions. After working with this data he put his knowledge to use and worked with actual people. He got out there and put himself in the position to help them. I felt that the approach he used when working with the people in their comatose state was Cognitive. He found the information, analyzed it, retrieved it, and created a drug. Later when the people were “awoken” he switched gears into Neurobiological approach. This makes perfect sense especially because he worked in Neurology and so he applied what he had the most knowledge, and information about. He studied the patients carefully, recording their movement on video camera and asking them numerous questions to try and get into their head, and understand how felt, thought etc.

There was a very interesting fact which I noted in the video. The fact that neither doctor nor chemist wanted to do the damage to the people. Nobody ever wants to be held responsibility unless the outcome is favorable, then they