Dr. David Chun
“Mean Girls: A Social Psych Approach”
Mean Girls is an American teen comedy that portrays the “typical” high school experience. Cady Heron is a 15-year-old girl who has spent most of her life in Africa, where she was home-schooled by her zoologist parents. When her family relocates to the United States, Cady finds herself attending a high school in suburban Illinois, where she gets a crash course in the various sub-strata of the student body: the jocks, the cheerleaders, the stoners, the "cool" kids, and so on. At the beginning of the movie Cady meets two friends, Daemon and Janis. These two students were seen as the outcast crowd or the out-group, but Cady has no idea. Much to her surprise, Cady finds herself embraced by a clique of rich and popular girls known to outsiders as "the Plastics," led by Regina George, Gretchen Weiners, and Karen Smith.
While Cady is grateful for her new friends, it doesn't take long for her to realize how manipulative they can be, and she soon discovers she's violated an unwritten law when she goes out on a date with Aaron, who is charming, good looking...and Regina's former boyfriend. It isn't long before Regina and her pals are on the warpath, and Cady must face a level of vengeful behavior for which years in the jungle never prepared her.
Looking at this movie from a social psychologist perspective, it provides ample amount of evidence which prove many theories and principles correct. In-groups and out-groups are one of relevant social psychology principles that are demonstrated in this movie. Other relevant social psychology principles presented in this movie schemas and the principle of conformity.
It's a well-known principle in social psychology that people define themselves in terms of social groupings and are quick to denigrate others who don't fit into those groups. Others who share our particular qualities are our "in group," and those who do not are...