Essay on The Bucket List : Psychological Theory

Essay on The Bucket List : Psychological Theory

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Two men, opposites but the same, complete strangers until fate lands them in the same hospital room. Little did they know that they had a common need to come to terms with who they are and what they had actually done in their lives. In an effort to fulfil these desires, they venture out into the world with the hope of completing a bucket list.
A psychological theory is a fact based framework used to provide a model for understanding human thoughts, emotions and behaviours. You may be thinking, “how is this of any relevance to my life?” However, the truth is, psychological theories propose, explain and predict various aspects of human behaviour which contributes to our knowledge base of the human mind and behaviour. Additionally, psychological theorise assist us greatly in understanding the meaning of identity and our purpose in life. Edward Cole from the film the Bucket List, exemplifies the ways in which psychological theories are applied in realistic situations and how they help us understand how characters find purpose in their lives.
A psychological theory that can be applied to Edward Cole is the Kubler-Ross model. This model was developed by Elizabeth Kubler- Ross, a Swiss American psychiatrist and pioneer in near death studies. Kubler- Ross developed this model to understand people’s reaction to change and explained that these were normal coping mechanisms that people needed in order to manage change. In devising this model, Kubler believed that people occupied different stages at different times and can move back to stages they had been in before. The stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages can last for different periods of time and although it’s good to think that people reach the ...


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...erson’s life who he was supposed to have a significant role in, was no longer in contact with him. The failure to fulfil these needs caused him to become disruptive and not fully focused at work. This is particularly noticeable when at a work meeting Edward is asked a work related question and responds with, “you ever read the Divine comedy?”
Edward’s sense of longing to reconnect with his daughter soon becomes stronger when Carter asks him to, “find the joy in your life.” This leads him on a quest to find the joy in his life which drives him to venture out and visit his daughter. Consequently, by the end of the movie, Edward reaches his full potential and therefore fulfils the summit of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self- actualisation. This is clear when Carter finishes the movie with saying, “I know that when he died, his eyes were closed and his heart was open.”

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