The movie Crash has a lot to do with psychology; many of the characters’ actions and behaviors can be explained in psychological terms, especially in terms of social psychology. For example, in one of the first scenes, Rick and Jean Cabot, who are white, are carjacked by Anthony and Peter, who are black.
Jean attributes the carjacking to the skin color of the two men: she believes that they carjacked her because they are black. When the Sabots are home, it seems that there is little equity in their relationship. Jean even says to a certain extent that she wishes that Rick did ore, cared more.Later in the movie, stereotyping falls into place as Officer Tom Hansen, a young police officer, murders Peter because he feels that all black men are dangerous. This is because he experienced Cameron Thayer, another black man that Hansen and his partner John Ryan encountered the night before, acting out of rage. Also, when the Sabots are being carjacked, fear comes into play as well. The magical is what is what is helping them respond to the fear, hence the heavier breathing and all the actions that come along with being afraid.
The sympathetic rovers system is arousing their bodies, helping them to cope with the situation at hand. The social cultural perspective is the biggest perspective covered in this movie, because it deals with how people behave towards one another. More specifically, the social cultural perspective reveals how behavior and thinking vary across situations and cultures. Culture influences behavior, this is how the two are related. Crash also has to do with development as well, mostly moral development. Many of the characters waver between conventional morality and vasoconstriction morality.For example, Detective Graham Waters has to choose whether to arrest the white officer who has murdered three black men, and in this case, murdered a black officer, who is a drug dealer, or to help corrupt the case. Detective Waters also deals with obedience in this situation: will he help corrupt the case because the district attorney, who is higher in power than him, said so? Parallel processing also helps Detective Waters, in one scene, to be able to talk on the phone to his mother and have sexual relations with his partner.
In the movie, Officer Tom Hansen seems to eave intrinsic motivation when he and other officers encounter an angry Cameron Thayer. He wants to help him for the sake of it. When Cameron is angry, it is clear that there are many accompanying facial expressions; this stems from the behavioral perspective. Also, it seems that Cameron and his wife Christine have a breaking relationship, which causes the both of them to feel loneliness and anger.
Christine Thayer, Cameraman’s wife, who was felt up by Officer John Ryan, encounters him again when he helps her get out of her car wreck.Her flashbulb memory strikes, because hen she realizes it is the same man, she remembers the event clearly and begins screaming. Her memory stems from the cognitive perspective and she is most likely using imagery to help her encode the memory of what officer Ryan looked like. He also seems to be helping her not only because she is a car wreck victim and needs help but because of the fact that he feels guilty about what happened. Jean seems to have major depressive disorder at one point in the movie.She even explains to a friend that she feels depressed for no reason, not because of the carjacking, not that she wakes up feeling that way every morning.
Because she is depressed, morphogenesis and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that increase arousal and boost mood, are at very low levels, scarce. Also, Jean seems to blame herself for a lot of things; this is because of her depression and the explanatory style that comes along with it: she is thinking internally rather than externally. The movie also deals with states of consciousness: our awareness of the environment around us and what we do consciously or unconsciously.When Jean Cabot falls down the stairs in her home, she doesn’t seem to be conscious of what is going on. It can also be argued that unintentional blindness plays a role in Jean’s fall: she failed to see the stairs because she was so focused on her phone conversation.
Change blindness could have played a role as well: she wasn’t aware that she was about to walk toward the stairs. The Gate-Control theory explains why she doesn’t really show much discomfort after the fall. Even biology comes into play. Hormones influence the level of aggression in Anthony and Peter when they carjack the Sabots, and when they try to carjack Cameron Thayer.
The endocrine system is what secretes these hormones not the bloodstream. All of the characters are in the formal operational stage of cognition and all seem to be in stages of Intimacy versus Isolation and Generatively versus Stagnation. Also, Anthony and Peter, as compared to other characters in the movie, are in a lower stage of the Mascots Hierarchy of Needs. They are stuck on physiological needs, for they don’t have shelter, whereas the other characters are in need of safety, belongingness and self-esteem.
It is safe to say that none of the characters have reached their self-actualization, but they are all working on it.